Published on November 6th, 2015 | by Geraldine Malone0
Five Takeaways From The AMC Preacher Trailer
Now that we’re peeing our pants about having a Preacher trailer, Geraldine ponders the ins and outs of the long awaited comic to TV adaptation.
How do you really describe Preacher without giving anything away? That’s a dilemma because if you have never read the comic book series every page turned is a new adventure, new moral conundrum, and new reason to find it one of the best series ever written.
To avoid spoilers the most concise way to sum it up is it’s the story of a small town preacher in Texas named Jesse Custer who has more skeletons in his closet than there are names in the Old Testament. Custer accidentally gets (sort of) possessed by a supernatural creature created by an unexpected coupling of good and evil. Accompanied by his ex-girlfriend Tulip and the hard-drinking Irish vampire named Cassidy, Custer travels across the United States looking for God. It’s that and so much more.
The series was written by Garth Ennis, who many know for his run with Punisher, and drawn by Steve Dillon and Glenn Fabry. It was published by Vertigo between 1995 and 2000 and since it came out has picked up a cult following including people like Stephen King and the comedy writing duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Rogen and Goldberg are serious fans and actually developed the series pilot for AMC, which was picked up in 2014 and is coming out in 2016. As a devoted Custer fan, I was extremely worried by the announcement especially since there’s been speculation around development of a show or movie off-and-on for years but because of some of the really wild religious based story lines in the comic they always fell through. I was also worried that they’d massacre the adaptation on screen or that it just wouldn’t translate to the screen well.
Both of those concerns have been (slightly) appeased now that there is officially a trailer out. On the first day of November fans were gifted with Preacher optimism.
Here is what I’ve taken away from the trailer:
1) The trailer looks like the TV Show will be departing from the comic. The trailer really just teases different story lines but rumours about the actual pilot’s script point to some major differences. This can be either good or bad. I think about how much the Walking Dead departs from the original source material but it works. On the other hand when Game of Thrones moves too far away from the books it tends to be a bad choice. As long as Preacher keeps the tone of the original comic, even if they move away from the original story somewhat, I can see it working out.
2) Jesse Custer played by Dominic Cooper is a bit prettier than I expected (hair seems too perfect) but he has the room to exhibit some real grit when need be. Cooper has plenty of experience on stage and on screen. He’s already been in comic book movies, playing Howard Stark in the Captain America films. Custer is one of the most complicated and multi-layered characters I’ve read so we will see if Cooper can pull of both depth and strength in his portrayal. The trailer teases that Cooper can indeed ride the line of empathy and destruction, which will be essential for the show’s success.
3) Hello Cassidy! We get a glimpse of the hard-partying vampire in a gory plane sequence and later just a flash of the sunglasses all the comic book fans are waiting to see. At the end of the trailer it seems like it could be the first meeting of Custer and Cassidy — one of the best relationships of the series. Cassidy is played by Joe Gilgun. I am really excited to see his interpretation of Cassidy after watching the British Sci-fi show Misfits where he played the complicated, fast talking, sort of superhero Rudy Wade. If he takes some of that with him into Cassidy, the casting is spot on. Just from the trailer it looks like Gilgun has the swagger and touch of insanity to pull it off.
4) Tulip is introduced in an intense fight scene but will comic book fans get over how different she looks? Irish-Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga was cast as the gun-toting ex of Custer who is blonde and caucasian in the comic books. I’m all for the change especially after catching Negga in Misfits as well. She’s becoming well known to nerd culture after her role as Raina in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and her role as Lady Taria in the upcoming Warcraft movie. Some super fans may never get over the physical differences but if Negga can capture the spirit and tenacity of Tulip it I think it doesn’t matter what she looks like. In the trailer we don’t get enough of her to really know if she will pull it off but the fighting seemed pretty badass.
5) Where is Genesis? Where is anything supernatural? Where is the Saint of Killers? For someone who hasn’t read the comics they will certainly get no hint about what the show is about (besides a preacher) from this trailer. They’d have no clue that there is a vampire best friend or that Custer is all-powerful. As a fan of the comics and knowing what is in store I was hoping to see how they’d approach Genesis — the most important supernatural factor in the series, which doesn’t really have a body. This means there is a lot of room to be blown away or completely disappointed, with AMC behind the wheel and with their reputation on the line I have a feeling it will be the former.
So after a couple days of Preacher dreams haunting me at night with all the ways this series could go wrong I decided that I’d push all of the hesitance down and just let myself be excited that some of my favourite characters will give fans a new way to join them on horrific, exciting, and improbable adventures along the lines of what responsibility, faith, and honour really mean.