Ever since the Vertigo Comics series premiered in 1995, there have been talks of adapting Garth Ennis’ darkly comic and ultra-violent supernatural western “Preacher” in one form or another. At one point, Academy Award winner Sam Mendes was even planning on directing a big screen version. After a number of false stars, however, it sounds like “Preacher” is finally on the way as a television series with AMC today revealing that they have set a pilot commitment for the upcoming show with plans to shoot in 2015 and, if all goes well, premiere as a series in 2016.
First announced late last year, the Sony Pictures Television and AMC Studios co-production was developed for TV by Sam Catlin (“Breaking Bad”) and Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg (This is the End). Rogen and Goldberg will produce through their Point Grey banner, along with Neal Moritz’s Original Film. The pilot was written by Catlin and has Rogen and Goldberg attached to direct.
Created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, “Preacher” tells the story of a down-and-out Texas preacher possessed by Genesis, a supernatural entity conceived by the unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon. Given immense powers, the preacher, teamed with an old girlfriend and a hard-drinking Irish vampire, set out on a journey across America to find God — who apparently had abandoned his duties in heaven — and hold him accountable for his negligence.
“Every once in a while you find a project where all the elements line up beautifully,” says Joel Stillerman,AMC’s Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Production and Digital Content. “With ‘Preacher,’ it starts with a bold, compelling, and thought-provoking comic book series from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon and a whole lot of fans who already know Jesse Custer, Cassidy, and Tulip,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s executive vice president of original programming, production and digital content. “Add to that the passionate and talented Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Sam Catlin, an incredible producing team in Neal Moritz, the Original Film team and our good friends at Sony Pictures Television, and we have everything we need to be very excited to move forward on ‘Preacher.'”
“’Preacher’ has been our favorite comic since it first came out,” add Rogen and Goldberg, whose latest film, The Interview, hits theaters Christmas Day. “Garth Ennis is one of our idols and it’s an incredible honor to be working on this. We promise we won’t make too many dick jokes and ruin it.”
“Steve Dillon and I are extremely pleased to know AMC has taken ‘Preacher’ to pilot,” says Ennis. “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. And many thanks indeed to Ken Levin and Neal Moritz for their never flagging commitment to ‘Preacher,’ and for never giving up well past the point when I myself grew skeptical — we have principally gotten to where we are today because of Neal and Ken.”
“Thanks to AMC for completely losing their minds and letting us do this,” says Catlin. “I’m so excited to bring Garth Ennis’ bloody, amazing and bloody amazing universe to TV.”