We always hear about material that is considered to be unfilmable but one of the biggest unfilmable stories that many people believed couldn’t be made into any material was Preacher:
Preacher is an American television series developed by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen and Sam Catlin for AMC starring Dominic Cooper. It is an adaptation of the comic book series created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, and published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. The series was officially picked up on September 9, 2015, with a ten-episode order which premiered on May 22, 2016. On June 29, 2016, AMC renewed the series for a 13-episode second season to air in 2017.
Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), a preacher in the small Texas town of Annville. Custer is accidentally possessed by the supernatural creature named Genesis, the infant product of the unauthorized, unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon. The incident flattens Custer’s church and kills his entire congregation.
Genesis has no sense of individual will, but since it is composed of both pure goodness and pure evil, its power might rival that of God Himself, making Jesse Custer, bonded to Genesis, potentially the most powerful being in the universe.
Driven by a strong sense of right and wrong, Custer journeys across the United States attempting to literally find God, who abandoned Heaven the moment Genesis was born. He also begins to discover the truth about his new powers. They allow him, when he wills it, to command the obedience of those who hear and comprehend his words. He is joined by his old girlfriend Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga), as well as a hard-drinking Irish vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun).
During the course of their journeys, the three encounter enemies and obstacles both sacred and profane, including The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish), an invincible, quick-drawing, perfect-aiming, come-lately Angel of Death answering only to “He who sits on the throne”; a disfigured suicide attempt survivor turned rock-star named Arseface (Ian Colletti); a serial-killer called the ‘Reaver-Cleaver’; The Grail, a secret organization controlling the governments of the world and protecting the bloodline of Jesus; Herr Starr, ostensible Allfather of the Grail, a megalomaniac with a penchant for prostitutes, who wishes to use Custer for his own ends; several fallen angels; and Jesse’s own redneck ‘family’ — particularly his nasty Cajun grandmother, her mighty bodyguard Jody , and the ‘animal-loving’ T.C.
Like I said, the graphic novel was often considered hard to film without screwing it up, many attempts to turn this into a film series failed to take shape but when AMC finally said that they were willing to take a shot at it, we got excited…and then most of the excitement toned down a bit when they revealed that Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg were putting it together. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Rogen & Goldberg as writers, they’ve more than created enough great entertainment over the years, This Is The End, The Interview, Neighbors, The Night Before, Neighbors 2, Sausage Party, they’ve always been able to take ideas that would never work, not in a million years, and somehow make it work as well as they do. But when you’re trying to bring that way of thinking to Preacher, a celebrated graphic novel with a loyal fanbase, you really have to be committed to such a project because if you fail, your reputation could severely be destroyed.
So how did Preacher end up fairing up as a TV series? Surprisingly well, really well. Yes, it departs from the graphic novel a bit but what it puts in its’ place is very engaging, very funny, and very intense.
You can tell that Rogen & Goldberg are fans of the graphic novel and knew they had their passion in the right place when it comes to turning this into a series that respects the book.
The visual look of the series is impressively done, there are shots that look like they are exactly taken right out from the book, the gore effects are impressively well done, the look of the series is fantastic to view.
Dominic Cooper does a very good job as Jesse Custer, Joseph Gilgun is great as Cassidy, Ruth Negga is excellent as Tulip, she’s the breakout star of this series, you’ve also got a really solid supporting cast in Jackie Earle Haley as Odin Quincannon, Lucy Griffiths as Emily Woodrow, W. Earl Brown as the sheriff, Ian Colletti as Arseface, Graham McTavish as the Saint Of Killers and many more. They did a great job casting these roles to where it doesn’t feel phoned in or forced.
Those fears that Preacher would turn into something poorly made are put to rest once you watch this series and actually give it a fair shot, it’s much better than you ever expected it to be. The series is visually impressive, capturing the imagery of the graphic novel really well, well casted, well executed, well told, it’s a really solid show that was clearly made by people who loved the graphic novel and did their best to turn this into a great TV series and so far, they’ve succeeded in that.