TV adaptation of Preacher developed by Seth Rogan begins filming, scheduled for 2016

Posted on 26 May 2015
By Aubrey Reynolds
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The Preacher TV series has officially started filming and with Seth Rogen on board, there has been a massive surge of fan excitement and anticipation.

Based on the Vertigo comic written by Garth Ennis, Preacher is the story of Jesse Custer a conflicted preacher who becomes merged with the a creature called genesis who is the product of the union between an angel and a demon.

Merged with this entity Jesse becomes the voice of God, with the power to make anyone do anything he commands should he will it, and may just be the most powerful being in existence.

Teaming up with his ex-girlfriend Tulip and a hard drinking Irish vampire named Cassidy they set of on a road trip across America to find and confront God, who has abandoned heaven from the moment genesis was born.

Intersecting with amongst other things Vietnam flashbacks filling out Jesse’s fathers past; the Saint of Killers who is the invincible angel of death, come Western lawman straight out of a Sergio Leone spaghetti Western.

Also Deliverance-style hill billes and Herr Starr a megalomaniac leader of the Grail, his Vatican like religious army tasked with stopping Jesse and preserving the bloodline of Jesus, in the form of a mentally handicapped inbred named Messiah.

Preacher is at the same time a foul mouthed, hard hitting exercise in blasphemy, the profane and the absurd and also a rivetingly modern take on the Jungian heroes journey and a passionate tribute to modern American culture.

Regarded as a classic series and coming out at the same time as Grant Morrison’s The Invisible, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan, Preacher really did form the golden age of vertigo comics and helped legitimise the ‘novel’ aspect in the term graphic novel.

It also introduced the world to Arse Face – a depressed teenager with a face resembling an anus after a botched suicide attempt, inspired by Kurt Cobain.

Preacher has had several attempts to be adapted to film and TV in the past, with Kevin Smith trying to get a Miramax to make the film in 1998 and Mark Steven Johnson (of Ben Affeck/Daredevil infamy) attached to shoot a pilot for HBO in 2006.

But finally, under the watch of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This is the end, The Interview) and Sam Catlin a former Breaking Bad exec producer and writer, it is getting the pay cable TV treatment for AMC, the network that gave us Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Mad Men and comic book based ratings giant The Walking Dead.

Our expectations for this are sky high. The source material has everything – an interesting premise, great characters, some amazing set pieces and twists and also varied in its tone and setting.

The key to getting the show right will be in translating the blacker than black Ennis humour, and not having to tone down the events of Preacher.

With the cultural shared conciousness of comic book TV and film adaptations at an all time high, the time is right to do what Vertigo comic books did in the 90s.

They said to the comic book readership, “so this is what you think comic books are, well how about these?!”

Now the Preacher show can come along and say: “you think this is what comic book TV shows are? Well get a load of this”.

Hopefully Preacher can out Walking Dead The Walking Dead and can do justice to the source material, but also put some real dark and edgy TV on the screen.

If it can be made to the standard of shows like Justified, Daredevil, Game of Thrones and the aforementioned zombie sprawler, which it certainly has the capacity and scope to be, it could launch a whole new slew of amazing comic book shows. After all you have to know the tropes before you can subvert them.

At the very least it will get the American Christian right riled up and it will give Bill O’Reilly and the Westborough Baptist Church something new to protest against.

Preacher is currently filming and due for release early 2016.

Aubrey is part of our Heroes For Sale comics team, so stay tuned to Purple Revolver for more comics news and our Heroes For Sale YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/channel/UC5YONM6rmBSTl2nGwaTg-qw) where you will find lots more in depth comics news and reviews