Despite Disturbia director DJ Caruso talking as recently as August about how the cinematic adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s seminal graphic novel Preacher is going, it would appear that the character may instead end up on television. AMC, the US cable channel behind the likes of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, has commissioned a pilot for a series based on the controversial character.
Preacher has bounced between both big and small screens in deveopment limbo for years, with Ennis writing a script that Kevin Smith wanted to direct and other filmmakers such as Sam Mendes and Rachel Talaly attached at different points. Then there was Daredevil’s Mark Steven Johnson, who was looking to get the idea on to the small screen via HBO. But despite nearly 15 years of attempts, nothing has come of it all.
Part of that is down to the problematic plot. Preacher is the sprawling tale of Jesse Custer, a handsome young Texas reverend with a dark past and a deep love of John Wayne films who becomes bonded with a creature known as Genesis, the offspring of an angel and demon. The blend at times makes him as powerful as God Himself, but also gives him real problems.
As Jesse, his ex-girlfriend (and assassin) Tulip and their new friend Cassidy (a vampire) try to figure out why he has this power and why God appears to have forsaken His kingdom, they cross paths with saints, serial killers and many, many inbred weirdos. With religion such a powder keg subject to tackle at the best of times, Preacher’s method of tackling it certainly isn’t one that companies have rushed to put on any screen.
Even more interestingly, however, Seth Rogen tweeted sentiments that made it clear he’s in some way involved with this new take on the tale, particularly this one…
AMC, which can push things a little further than US network TV, but not to the language and flesh-baring limits of, say, HBO, could conceivably get Preacher going. Given the history so far, we’ll remain in a wait and see position.