When Preacher debuts on AMC later this year, it will be different from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon comic book. While changes are inevitable, executive producers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and showrunner Sam Catlin told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter tour that they did reach out to Ennis and involved him in their thinking.
"Garth very much encouraged us to make a lot of small changes and make it a good show first and foremost," said Goldberg, according to Slashfilm. Part of the missions statement is to give fans the story the recognize but with a some "twists and turns."
Starring Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, and Joseph Gilgun, the series will tell the tale of West Texas preacher Jesse Custer, ex-girlfriend Tulip and vampire pal Cassidy as they seek out God, run afoul of ancient organizations and bump-up against a perverse cast of characters.
Some of the violence and more graphic depictions will be toned down, but Rogen explained that visual elements that work as a Steve Dillon drawing can become too horrific or over-the-top when translated to live action. One example is Arseface. Noting a picture that surfaced online of a make-up test from an earlier Preacher development attempt, he said, "I knew we should not make it look exactly like it looked in the comic and make it a little more palatable. We wanted the character to be sympathetic."
But even with the changes, all agreed the original comic is a book they love and they want to make into a show both fans and new audiences will come to appreciate. "There's violence and also melodrama, but we're going to try to make people laugh," said Catlin. "Characters will do horrible things one episode and then come back and do very silly things."
As announced earlier this week, Preacher will premiere at South By Southwest in March before coming to AMC on an as-of-yet undisclosed date.