Exclusive: AMC’s Preacher Series Targets African-American Tulip

Some fans have been waiting a full two decades to see Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s ultraviolent western comic book series “Preacher” get an adaptation. Last fall, we learned that AMC is finally moving forward with a small screen take developed for television by Sam Catlin (“Breaking Bad”) and the This is the End and The Interview pair of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Today, as the series continues through pre-production, SuperHeroHype has learned that one of the comic book series’ main characters will receive a change to their ethnicity. The plan is for Tulip O’Hare to be played by an African American actress.

“Preacher,” published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint between 1995 and 2000, tells the story of Reverend Jesse Custer, a small town Texas preacher who, nearly at his faith’s end, finds himself merged with a supernatural entity, Genesis, birthed from both an angel and a demon. Imbued with the word of God (the ability to make anyone obey his commands), Jesse hits the road, reunited with his ex girlfriend, Tulip, and joined by a rowdy Irish vampire, Cassidy, to track down God himself and force him to explain why he abanonded his duties in Heaven.

Although there is likely to me some degree of outcry from purists who want to see the comics adapted as precisely as possible, the change in Tulip’s ethnicity is an easy one to imagine playing rather well. In fact, those same purists should be reminded that, in the comics, Tulip’s own father was at first disappointed when she wasn’t born a boy, remarking that he’d “sooner vote Democrat” than raise a girl. Tulip is, after all, not a character who’s going to live by anyone’s rules but her own.

A Sony Pictures Television and AMC Studios co-production, “Preacher” will be produced by Goldberg and Rogen 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.