Despite its recent reputation as an undisputed hit factory, AMC is facing a gaping hole in its lineup with the departure of Breaking Bad and the end of Mad Men looming large on the horizon. Neither Low Winter Sun nor The Killing could go toe to toe with stalwarts like The Walking Dead, so the network is apparently looking to adapt another venerated comic book franchise, Vertigo’s Preacher, according to a report from Badass Digest.
The comic, by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillion, is foul, profane, blasphemous, and violent in all the right ways. It follows Jesse Custer, a small town preacher who dabbles more than a little bit in heavy drinking and cardinal sinning and finds himself the vessel for the offspring of an angel and a demon. With tremendous power, including The Word of God, which lets him compel people to do whatever he commands, Jesse sets off on a hunt for God himself, who has apparently left creation high and dry. Vengeance on his mind, Jesse is joined by his ex-girlfriend-turned-assassin Tulip and a hundred year old Irish vampire named Cassidy. I don’t know about you guys, but that sounds like a worth successor to Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, and Mike Ehrmantraut.
Although Badass Digest‘s source is still anonymous, the story gained further credence when Seth Rogen sent off a pair of tweets indicating that he had been working on the project for seven years, teasing that it involved “Arseface” and “John Wayne, the Saint of Killers.”
Looks like about seven of years of hard work are about to pay off. I may get to bring one of my favourite stories ever to life.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) November 16, 2013
Arseface. John Wayne, The Saint of Killers.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) November 17, 2013
Bleeding Cool also reports that AMC’s Chief Operating Officer, Edward Carroll, confirmed to Menachem Luchins, the owner of Long Island-based Local Pod Comics, that the network had indeed purchased Preacher. Luchins told Carroll that, if done right, the show could be “VERY successful,” to which Carroll replied, “I hope so, we paid enough for it.”
While I agree with many of my peers that television seems to be the best place for a property like Preacher, I’m trying not to count my chickens before they’re hatched. This isn’t Preacher’s first development rodeo. Back in 1998, Garth Ennis wrote a draft of a script and Kevin Smith approached Harvey Weinstein about making it. Since then, folks like Sam Mendes, Rachel Talaly, and DJ Caruso have been attached to direct, and the part of Jesse Custer was long-rumored to be James Marsden’s.
While we don’t yet know who is attached to this new series (Seth Rogen?), Badass Digest confirms that “the names are big and impressive.” In the meantime, why not check out this makeup test for Arseface commissioned by HBO back when they were eyeing the project?
What do you think about this news? Do you want to see Preacher on your television screens? Who would you like to play each part? Let us know in the comments below or tell me yourself on Twitter!