Report: AMC Adapting Preacher Comic Book Series Once Deemed 'Too Controversial' for TV

AMC Preacher Comic Book SeriesWill AMC dare to adapt that which HBO once shied away from?

A report began circulating on Saturday, starting at BadAssDigest.com, that AMC is developing a pilot adaptation of Preacher, the DC/Vertigo comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

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Adding grist to the mill were a pair of Saturday afternoon tweets from Seth Rogen — the second of which references several Preacher characters — suggesting that he is shepherding the project:

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Preacher follows Reverend Jesse Custer, a small-town Texas minister on the verge of losing his faith when he merges with a spiritual force called Genesis — making him more mighty than the Almighty. Able to command the obedience of those who hear his words and joined by his gun-toting girlfriend Tulip and the hard-drinking Irish vampire Cassidy, Custer begins a violent journey across the country in search of answers from a disenfranchised God.

The Preacher property has been eyed multiple times in the past for small and big screen adaptations, including at the aforementioned HBO, which ultimately passed on the project in 2008. “[They] felt it was just too dark and too violent and too controversial,” screenwriter Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil, Ghost Rider) told Comics Continuum at the time. “Which, of course, is kind of the point!” Robert Rodriguez was rumored to be on the short list of possible directors for that take.

With Breaking Bad over, Mad Men ending, The Killing snuffed (but revived by Netflix) and Low Winter Sun in flux, AMC surely has the need for buzzy content. But when contacted by TVLine, a network spokesperson was unable to confirm the Preacher pilot rumor.

If you’re intimately familiar with the Preacher series, would you like to see a cable-TV take on it? Or is the subject matter too hot to handle uncensored?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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21 Comments
  1. They did well with The Walking Dead. No reason they can’t do the same here.

  2. Katie_Mead says:

    Preacher? Hell yeah. Seth Rogen? Um ….

  3. Casto says:

    Awesome. I would rather see it on a pay channel that has more leeway with content. Of course, the same could be said for Walking Dead and it has turned out well. Now if only Y: The Last Man could finally make it somewhere.

    • Teag says:

      Wow! I just finished Y: The Last Man and was totally thinking a TV adaptation would be so good. 5 seasons easily.

    • Pierre Savoie says:

      Yeah, Y: The Last Man was a great graphic novel series. And it’s topical given the Disappearing Male from the administration of our schools, from office-work, from university enrollments, as discussed by the men’s human rights movement.

  4. Brad says:

    They’d have to water it down even more than they did TWD in order to put it on AMC. Personally, I never carded for the comic. But I’m not sure how it’s fans would like a tamed down version of it.

  5. charlie says:

    Love Preacher, and while some of the sexuality being toned down wouldn’t bother me, the language changes might.

  6. They really need to change their name from American Movie Classics to something else, lol. Just shorting it to AMC is not enough, lol.

  7. Moriarty's pocket protector says:

    Seth would make an awesome Arseface!

  8. Kat says:

    I wish networks would focus on ORIGINAL programming, not adaptations of existing series or books. I’m beginning to fear that there’s never going to be another Breaking Bad or Mad Men.

    • Teag says:

      Agreed. Although with the success of Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Under the Dome (yes it was a success), adaptations will remain in the cycle.

  9. Cillian Murphy as Cassidy please

  10. Booger says:

    Woot! So terribly excited!!!!

  11. Alex says:

    Love preacher,and don’t get me wrong, seth rogen has made a couple of funny movies, and I could 100% be wrong,but I just don’t see seth rogen developing a show that could be even half as good as the walking dead is, like at all, ever, worst part is if they actually go through with it and it doesnt go to series they’ll never give it a second change and we will have wasted the only chance to get it made, y’know what I mean?, but hey maybe I’m wrong,just my cents

  12. Brandon Rowe says:

    Sounds like a dark version of Bruce Almighty. Lol. Sounds good!

  13. Nic says:

    I feel like it would have been awesome on HBO. But if AMC is willing to do this? I’ll watch. I’m glad that SOMEONE is doing it (hopefully).

  14. loco_73 says:

    I have not read the graphic novels, but am familiar with the storyenough to think that this would make for some quite fascinating TV viewing. I do agree that AMC would have to censor quite heavily the sexuality and language from the novels, should they choose to adapt it as a series, and that could present a problem. The fact that the novels are soo explicit, violent and foulmouthed, is part and parcel of their nature and character. This is a nihilistic, dark, graphic and explicit story.

    I mean, just think, the Preacher not only wants answers from God, he wants to completely and utterly destroy him.Tthe Preacher, is a man frustrated, pissed off, angry and he wants vengeance and terrible retribution against a God he sees largely responsible for all the misery and pain in the world, a world he has abandoned, much like an absentee landlord abandons his tenants.

    I am not saying that it couldn’t work to some extent on AMC, but I guess it would be diminished. “The Walking Dead” is an awesome show, one of the best I’ve had the pleasure and luck of seeing, but it can do withouth the language from Kirkman’s novels, and sexuality is not such a big deal in them anyways. Besides, lets not forget that Robert Kirkman is actually involved in the AMC series, and has some input in it and was lucky enough to find people that really respected the novels and understood how to best translate them to the small screen, Frank Darabont being chief amongst them.

    Should “Preacher” be picked-up by AMC will Garth Ennis and Steve Dilllon be involved in the development and adaptation?

    What gives me the biggest pause is Seth Rogen’s involvement. I might swallow him as a producer, but should he act, write or direct…I will stay away as far as possible from this project! Come on, had everybody already forgotten “The Green Hornet”? Rogen might be a true and dedicated commics fan, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is the person to bring this project to life. His pride and ego won’t ever let him see that…

    I wish HBO had taken a chance on it…but there is still Showtime and Starz!

  15. AKAATA says:

    Being intimately familiar with this series since the mid 90’smonth and having re-read it at least once a year, I have always had reservations about how it would be handled should an adaptation occur. That being said, the idea of AMC taking it to series is thrilling. A movie wouldn’t have worked. A mini series wouldn’t have worked. A series seems the best fit. Witj the language toned down and the sexual situations tamed a bit i can see this being a huge success. Let’s see Bryan Cranston for Herr Starr!

  16. It was awesome news until Seth Rogen was mentioned.

  17. Giagkos says:

    Tread with caution. Both the language and plot, as well as the cultural and social references, make the Preacher the masterpiece that it is. I fear that a toned down TV adaptation will not be able to carry its “spirit” thus making it just another “luben-fantasy” series standing over wasted potential. I could see it with HBO, but AMC? Not so sure…. We’ve seen many exceptional graphic novels being butchered on the process of adapting them for the screen. I for one would not care for another “Watchmen”. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

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