AMC have ordered a pilot of Gareth Ennis and Steven Dillon's 1990s comic-book PREACHER, masterminded by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad). AMC must have loved the script, which concerns a Texan preacher called Jesse Custer who becomes possessed by an entity that bestows on him the ability to enforce his will on others, vocally. This triggers a crazy road trip to find God, where he's joined by gun-toting ex-girlfriend Tulip O'Hare and an Irish vampire called Cassidy.
I've read the comics, and it's fair to say Preacher is balls-to-the-wall extreme and heretical in places. Who knows how much of the comic's insane content will make it to the small-screen, wholly intact, despite coming from the network who gave us The Walking Dead.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg commented:
"Preacher has been our favourite comic since it first came out. Garth Ennis is one of our idols and it's an incredible honour to be working on this. We promise we won’t make too many dick jokes and ruin it."Co-creator Garth Ennis released a statement:
"Steve Dillon and I are extremely pleased to know AMC has taken Preacher to pilot. We have had an ongoing voice in the efforts of the writers whom Sony TV and Original Film entrusted with this project, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Sam Catlin, and have been most gratified that they continue to include us, and that they have tackled the project with the type of unwavering commitment and courage needed to present the material as Steve and I intended. This has been a long time coming, but that it continues apace, and with the chance to be delivered episodically, gives Preacher an opportunity to be seen in its best possible medium, not previously possible."AMC need this series to work. They've lost Breaking Bad (right at the point it seemed to break into the mainstream), critical darling Mad Men's finishing next year, and it remains to be seen if Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul will be a success. They're also in the process of developing a Walking Dead spin-off, following a different group of characters, so definitely need something fresh and new to keep their longterm ambitions alive. No, Halt and Catch Fire doesn't cut it for me.
PREACHER will begin filming in 2015, ahead of an expected 2016 premiere.