During a SDCC ‘Preacher’ press panel, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogan, and Garth Ennis took questions about the series, casting, and what they can get away with.
Preacher is my new obsession. I’ve watched this show religiously (snort) since the pilot, so when WSN was granted press access, I was so excited that Funmbi was going to it!
They couldn’t give anything away for the season finale or where the show will go, but that’s pretty standard.
Garth Ennis, the creator of the comics, tackled the first big question of the day: How to balance character reliability and unlikability. His response left the romance reader in me thrilled,
“I know there have been a number of successful stories where characters are completely unlikable from the get-go. Preacher just wasn’t going to be like that. It had to have just enough traditional heroism to keep people coming back. I’ve written things since where the lead characters are absolute monsters, one of which you two have sort of an interest coming up, but Preacher was far enough back in my career that I think I was still into the idea of some kind of traditional hero as the lead.”
He also mentioned that Jesse is almost from another time. One where he’d be more comfortable with a six gun on his hip and headed for the OK Corral.
I can see this when in terms of Jesse Custer. In fact, I think he and SOK would get along pretty well if the angels hadn’t called for that hit on him.
As someone who isn’t familiar with the comics, I was happy to hear that even though the show is a departure from its source material, all three of them believe that it shares the spirit of the story. As long as it continues to do that, Ennis said he would be fine with wherever they take it.
Ennis also mentioned that he hopes to one day pen a script for the series!
When asked if Rogan thought that the show would bring about controversy, he laughed and said, “If the President doesn’t talk about it, it’s not a controversy, and so it’s not something that we’re worried about, honestly.” (You’ll remember the big dust up from his film with James Franco a couple of years ago that required serious security for him.)
On a lighter note, Rogan said he was surprised at how little push back they’ve had from AMC for some of the more out there parts of the series. He said that as long as they explain they need to shoot something a certain way, it’s nearly always accepted. The only thing they can’t do on the show is say fuck.
Along with the direction of the series, they spoke of the incredible casting decisions. One question addressed was casting Ruth Negga as Tulip. Her character in the comics isn’t African American. Both Goldberg and Rogan say that as soon as they saw Ruth audition, they knew that she was Tulip. No one else would be able to capture that character.
Rogan went on to say, “And it’s one of those things where now, that’s how I see Tulip in my head, which is strange.”
(This was also addressed by Negga in the second portion of the interview along with the importance of strong female characters in television.)
On the other hand, there was Joe Gilgun, who Evan Goldberg describes as “the least disappointing person you could ever meet.” To which Seth Rogan added, “Exactly. It’s not like you meet him and it’s like, ‘He’s so different than I expected.’ You meet him and you’re like, ‘I just met Cassidy from the Preacher comics.'”
I believe everything about this because Joe Gilgun submitted a video for his audtion for Cassidy that was filmed by his mother in her basement. Here’s hoping that’s on the bonus features of the Preacher Blu-Ray/DVDs.
If you’re going into the series cold, Goldberg wants you to know one very important thing…
“I think that it’s genre jumping is a big thing. It’s a show that has action, horror, and comedy. To me that’s one of the biggest selling points of the whole concept. It just goes everywhere. There’s a whole chunk of it that’s a New York serial killer mystery and there’s that’s New Orleans and to me that’s wonderful.”
So, if you’re looking for a great show to watch that’s part dark comedy, part western, part supernatural, part romance, and a whole lot of fun, Preacher should be on your “to watch” list now!