"Preacher" brought to the small screen
November 29, 2006 10:07 AM   Subscribe

The comic "Preacher" is finally being adapted for TV. Rumors have circulated about a possible adaptation for some time, but they have now been verified by HBO. The bad news is that the director/writer behind "Daredevil" and "Ghost Rider" is writing the pilot.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl (62 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The bad news is that the director/writer behind "Daredevil" and "Ghost Rider" is writing the pilot.

That's unfortunate, it's a great series. Maybe somebody at HBO will wake up before they get too far along and look for someone with a little more vision.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:12 AM on November 29, 2006


Oh this is terrible, terrible, terrible news.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:33 AM on November 29, 2006


This news is downright awful.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:34 AM on November 29, 2006


This is not the kind of news I like to hear.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:35 AM on November 29, 2006


What a terrible TV show this will be. I was just watching that godawful Superman Returns movie last night and thinking back to when James Marsden (Lois Lane's husband in Superman Returns, and Cyclops in X-Men) was going to play Jesse Custer in the Preacher movie- and how terrible, terrible, terrible of an idea that would have been. Ugh. Now it's going to be a crappy TV show.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:39 AM on November 29, 2006


Wow, Smiley. I think you feel worse than I do, and I didn't think that was possible.

You're right about James Marsden. How many comic adaptations does he need to be in? I hope they don't re-visit that idea.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 10:43 AM on November 29, 2006


Why is it that people who aren't good at something get to do it over and over again in Hollywood?
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:48 AM on November 29, 2006


Brace for a Tsunami of suck.
posted by Optamystic at 10:52 AM on November 29, 2006


At least on HBO, the show will retain all the many interesting deaths...
posted by interrobang at 10:52 AM on November 29, 2006


I can still make friends of mine recoil in utter horror by looking at them and braying, "SAAAAY THE NAAAAAAME!!!"

That said, I think we're going to be less-than-happy with this.
posted by mephron at 10:56 AM on November 29, 2006


Even if it sucks (which it will) there will stil be the majesty that is... Arse Face.
posted by lekvar at 11:06 AM on November 29, 2006


/me sighs

considering how bad Ghostrider looks, I'm gonna be pouring a 40 for this series.

but, yeah, it's on HBO so they'll keep the cool stuff in - and I did like the animated Spawn series on HBO a few years back. Maybe HBO will do an alright job with this.

/me yeah yeah, monkeys out of my ass too.
posted by Stynxno at 11:14 AM on November 29, 2006


I just want to know what Garth Ennis said to Warren Ellis when Warren asked him about this. Apparently Ennis and Dillon will be co-executive producers on this project, so at least the original writers will have some say in how things go. Of course, by say, I mean they'll be asked to kindly shut up and let the director do what the other producers want.

Or it could be good. It could get the right team of supporting cast and technical people (editors RULE), and take whatever the director lacks, and make it a thing worth watching.

Now I'm going to have to go dig out my TPB's and start reading from the beginning again.
posted by daq at 11:27 AM on November 29, 2006


"Preacher," which ran from 1995-2000, told the story of a down-and-out Texas preacher possessed by Genesis, a supernatural entity conceived by the unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon.

And if I recall, those two plane-crossed lovebirds were being poorly chaperoned at the time by none other than John Constantine, yes?

Nothing says that Marsden is still solidly attached to this new project. But at the moment, I can't think of anybody who would actually fill Rev. Custer's shoes.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:29 AM on November 29, 2006


I don't even watch TV anymore but if this features Ass Face, I may have to get someone to tape it for me.

But yes, it'll almost certainly suck.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:39 AM on November 29, 2006


Crap. This will not end well. (But I might watch it for Ass Face. More likely I'll be in the corner, crying softly.)

I just want to know what Garth Ennis said to Warren Ellis when Warren asked him about this.


I imagine it involved a great deal of profanity.
posted by kalimac at 11:44 AM on November 29, 2006


Hey now, none of you people have even seen Ghost Rider! Maybe it's really goo... ah, who am I kidding? It's going to suck, and most likely now so is the Preacher show.
posted by jonson at 11:44 AM on November 29, 2006


Eric Bogasian is... The Preacher.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:46 AM on November 29, 2006 [2 favorites]


99% sure that this is going to suck.

However, it might get up the noses of a few humourless fundamentalists, so there's a small upside.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:03 PM on November 29, 2006


You have no idea how happy I felt when I read that first sentence. Yes! A comic book adapted into a format that will allow it to be better adapted from the source, rather than cramming everything into two hours! And by HBO!

...and then I read the third sentence. My hopes are dashed. Dammit. It's just as well I don't actually have HBO.
posted by kosher_jenny at 12:04 PM on November 29, 2006


How long has it been since you've re-read Preacher?

I'd always had fond memories of the series, but about six months ago I dug out my trades and went through it all again...it really hadn't aged well, now that I've outgrown some of the more juvenille fixations of my 90s youth.

Imagine all those late-night freshman conversations about religion, combined with a repulsively childish Englishman's idea of what America is like. Preacher is like that guy at the bar who's so in love with how "shocking" and "not PC" he is that he doesn't even realize how boring and wretched he really is.

(And don't forget about that embarrassing Dan Hicks cameo!)
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:06 PM on November 29, 2006


I just hope it retains all the wonderful homophobia of the original!
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:12 PM on November 29, 2006


Yet another instance of Hollywood-raping-everything-I-cherish-and-adore-since-Blade-Runner.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 12:27 PM on November 29, 2006


I'm with Ian A.T., by the time I got to the end of Preacher, I was severely disappointed.
posted by drezdn at 12:33 PM on November 29, 2006


At least he's not Uwe Boll.
posted by darkripper at 12:34 PM on November 29, 2006


I'm still hopeful they'll do a good job with it. A fools hope? Maybe.
posted by Alt F4 at 12:41 PM on November 29, 2006


Oooh. Oooh. Nevermind.
The project reunites Johnson with Deutch; Johnson wrote "Grumpier Old Men," which Deutch directed. Deutch's directing credits include TV's "Gleason," the pilot for "Melrose Place" and the 1986 film "Pretty in Pink." He is repped by ICM.
posted by Alt F4 at 12:43 PM on November 29, 2006


Preacher, I adore. Proud owner of every issue. Ennis' work on The Boys is just a weird homage at best.

HBO, well, ya gotta love em for taking the risk on this. I'm gonna have to subscribe now to see this.

Johnson, *gouges eyes out with pencils*. How does this man keep finding work? I'd rather see a Whedon version, Warren Ellis, Straczynski, Bendis, even Vaughn. They all rule to be sure, but would still mess up Preacher. Is there a problem with Ennis writing this? Or heck, give it to Grant Morrison.


posted by Dantien at 12:51 PM on November 29, 2006


And don't forget about that embarrassing Dan Hicks cameo!

Bill Hicks. Why was it embarrassing?
posted by Optamystic at 12:56 PM on November 29, 2006


I think it would be darn near impossible to create a TV version of "Preacher", even on cable, that would be faithful to the comic run. Sanitized at best, woeful pablum for the masses at worst.

I quite enjoyed Preacher in the beginning, but it got pretty lame at the end. I have to say though, Ennis can sometimes be hit-or-miss. When he's good, he's damn good, but he gets bogged down in his own voice sometimes.
posted by elendil71 at 1:20 PM on November 29, 2006


To expand a little on the snarky homophobia comment above...

I liked Preacher a lot when I first read it, especially the first couple of TPBs. It had the same sort of popping with ideas, to hell with the norms feeling that Transmetropolitan had.

But after a while, it started to go sour, I think. It might be the idealization of "Western" values, by a non-American, none the less, or the indiscriminate killing and torture (lots of the people who got it deserved it, several did not), the homophobia, which became increasingly blatant (it seems to be typical for Ennis, his other work, like Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank, has a bunch of it too), and the just plain sadism.

And the ending was not particularly satisfying, even though they did kill off God, but that was just like the final "let's see how outrageous we can be this time" stunt.

So no, definitely not aged well.

I want a Transmetropolitan HBO series, scripted by Warren Ellis, with a Rome-scale budget. But maybe not in another couple of years, to make CGI and everything even better foreven less money.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:30 PM on November 29, 2006


I guess you could call me crazy but I thought Mark Steven Johnson's DD was not so far off base. I think there were plenty of other reasons (casting) why the movie wasn't super excellent.
posted by aaronscool at 1:35 PM on November 29, 2006


Ian AT: Ennis is Irish.

Speaking of which, I'm wondering: who the hell is going to play Cassidy? Probably one of those fucking kids from American Idol...
posted by Football Bat at 1:49 PM on November 29, 2006


Cassidy was the best character -- debatably the only real character in that book.

I remember a thread from forever ago on a possible movie. Liam Cunningham could do it but he's old. Cillian Murphy was occasionally crazy enough in that Batman movie. Jonathan Rhys Meyers might work.

On TV? Doesn't matter who. It'll suck anyway.
posted by rokusan at 2:05 PM on November 29, 2006


And if I recall, those two plane-crossed lovebirds were being poorly chaperoned at the time by none other than John Constantine, yes?

No. Preacher was not set in the DC/Vertigo cosmology. No characters crossed over from or to the series.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:20 PM on November 29, 2006


On TV?

"It's Not TV, It's HBO®"
posted by Tenuki at 2:23 PM on November 29, 2006


Well, I'm witholding judgement, although the pedigree does not fill my heart with hope. HBO's a better place for this than a movie theater, so that's one for the plus column. But honestly, Desolation Jones would make the best TV show.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:28 PM on November 29, 2006


Is it naive to think that HBO couldn't possibly fuck this up? Maybe I've been spoiled by the various hits that have percolated out to regular folks, but just think: Carnivale, Deadwood, The Sopranos... HBO consistently makes the best English language television. They can do this; I'd guess that if Johnson's going to fuck it up, it'll happen before production starts, and there just won't be a show. I don't believe they'll let it suck.

(/naive)
posted by anotherpanacea at 2:56 PM on November 29, 2006


Everything goes better with bukkake, Doublewhiskeycokenoice.

To be a tv show Ellis would have to turn out the pages a HELL of a lot faster...
posted by phearlez at 3:06 PM on November 29, 2006


Hey, everyone, spread the word...I'm trying to get a new internet acronym off the ground: LLOL, Literally Laughed Out Loud. As ZeFrank recently pointed out, LOL now just means "I just smiled a little." So use LLOL when you actually, literally, physically, open your mouth and laugh at something you just saw.

Ahem:

>>Dan Hicks cameo
>Bill Hicks.

LLOL! How embarrassing for me! (I'll pause here so that we can imagine how the comic would have been different if Dan Hicks And The Hot Licks had cameo'd in the series...)

>Why was it embarrassing?

There's nothing necessarily embarrassing about Bill Hicks, per se, so much as the fanboy aspect of clumsily writing him into the story. It would be like if I wrote a movie where Indiana Jones gave me advice about my relationship.

You know what? I take it back. That would actually be pretty awesome.

Fun fact: That originally read "Bruce Springsteen" instead of Indy. On preview, I remembered the dream sequence in High Fidelity.

I actually want to add a positive note to what I said earlier about Preacher. I'd forgotten about the slowly-revealed depths of Cassidy's character and the evolving relationship between him and Custer. I think that aspect of the story handled the subject of adult male friendships in a way that seemed really fresh and surprisingly subtle.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:49 PM on November 29, 2006


Never read Preacher, but I'm glad Brian Vaughan's writing the screenplays to Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina.

Isn't Warren Ellis getting into movies now too?
posted by Target Practice at 4:08 PM on November 29, 2006


I thought he was writing a pilot for a Global Frequency TV show. I think that's pretty old news actually, and probably not what you were thinking of, Target, but it's the first thing that came to mind.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:20 PM on November 29, 2006


Speaking of Ellis, is anybody else wondering what Garth Ennis said to him that he's refusing to reprint? Gossip! I demand gossip!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:23 PM on November 29, 2006


"I think that's pretty old news actually"

Yep, the WB network passed on it last year and the pilot episode can now be found on various p2p networks.
posted by Tenuki at 4:32 PM on November 29, 2006


I'm lame and thus have yet to read Preacher, though many a friend has recommended it to me, thus I look forward to this with the tiny, tiny hope that it will surprise all of us and be worthwhile.

However, Daredevil. I know anyone can make a movie that doesn't turn out well, despite best intentions. But Daredevil. Oh my. Oh my. That being said! Colin Farrel's portrayal of Bullseye should have won an Oscar, honestly I show that movie to friends just to die at how ridiculously hilarious it is. "I MISSED! I NEVER MISS!" Oh man. Really, rewatch his scenes and pretend you don't know how much the movie sucks, you'll thank me.
posted by haveanicesummer at 4:37 PM on November 29, 2006


I had a good laugh watching Daredevil and Ghost Rider looks really loud and stupid. I just hope he doesn't direct an episode.
posted by johndog at 4:50 PM on November 29, 2006


preacher is so fantastic. if it has to go on tv, i guess im glad its hbo... they at least have somewhat of a good history. and id rather see it as a series than a movie.
posted by fillsthepews at 7:22 PM on November 29, 2006


I look forward with interest to what organisations such as the PTC will make of this. Speechless apoplectic rage followed by 2,000,000 complaints to the FCC (or whoever they can con into listening...) all originating from the same area code, I'd imagine.
posted by kaemaril at 7:44 PM on November 29, 2006


The Global Frequency pilot was a bit underwhelming (as was the comic book series). It had potential, but it was a bit too... dumb. The comic just fizzled out after about 4 or 5 issues. Ellis tends to do one schtick, over and over again, until its dead. He can sometimes do it extremely well, but sometimes it just gets dull.

Same thing with Ennis. I love Preacher. I really do. That said, Ennis often gets bogged down by his puerile tastes. Some of his stuff becomes just unreadable, to me at least. Fury and The Punisher spring to mind.

Some of his best writing is when he decides to be serious. "Until the End of the World" has some of the most dramatic moments in the series, and its one of my favorite trades. I also like the oft-slighted "Salvation."

Ian A.T. brought up the Bill Hicks cameo, and I have to second him on that. Just terrible. Fanboy central, and really just hammered into the plot for no fucking point. I also thought that Ennis' idealized notion of the American Tough Guy was over the top by the end of the series. But what pissed me off most is what he did to Herr Starr. This guy is supposed to be the central villain of the series, but he becomes a laughingstock. A clown. Can't we at least leave him with some (metaphoric) teeth? Constant jokes about how his head looks like a cock just grew very, very, very tiresome.

Still, its probably, no, definitely the best thing Ennis has ever done, and probably the best thing he ever will do. Despite its faults, I still think it is a great piece of writing. I will hold out a glimmer of hope that this TV show could be decent, mostly on the basis that, since it is HBO, they won't completely castrate the story. It certainly has a better chance of succeeding than a 2 hour PG-13 movie.

But who knows. Yeah, Johnson is a bit of a hack. But I actually enjoyed large sections of his Daredevil, and I say that as a commited fan of Frank Miller & Brian Michael Bendis' runs on the title. I think he did a lot of things right; I think he captured the mood and feel of Daredevil fairly well; but, of course, he did a lot of things wrong, and a lot of the casting was a problem. Also, why the hell did Kingpin have to be the same guy who murdered his dad? I hate meaningless symmetry in movies! Anywah, I have heard that the director's cut of the film makes some major improvements, dialing down the cheesiness of the love plot among them.
posted by papakwanz at 8:54 PM on November 29, 2006


Also, re: kaemaril's post... can (or will) the FCC do anything about a show on HBO? I mean, I would imagine the fundies pretty much leave premium cable alone anyway. I don't think there'll be nearly the uproar over this as over, say, Book of Daniel which was on network TV.
posted by papakwanz at 8:56 PM on November 29, 2006


GrabbingSand: I think Nathan Fillion would do a good job (shown here as an evil, well, preacher in Buffy). I don't hold out much hope for that, though..
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:13 PM on November 29, 2006


Ennis has really become schizoid in his writing; Hellblazer and early Preacher had a great balance of high drama and low comedy - they are some of the best comics of the last 25 years - but somewhere down the line he lost that. I blame Hitman.

Compare Dangerous Habits to Son of Man. The former is the work of a great writer who knows exactly what his job is and doing it perfecting, and the latter feels as though it was cobbled together by some hack who completely misunderstands what made the other guy so great. The fact that The Boys is supposed to, in Ennis' words, "Out-Preacher Preacher" shows just how out of touch Ennis has gotten.
Preacher: "Until the end of the world."
The Boys: "Terror?" "Woof?" "Fuck it."

And goddamn you for reminding me of Fury, papakwanz. That shit just broke my heart.

Ellis... Ellis I really don't get. Yeah, he wrote a better Raoul Duke than even latter-years HST was cabable of mustering up, but hellfire, I'll never understand how the biggest Mary Sue in the industry has managed to get away with it for so long. His characters' dialogue and personalities are so interchangeable, the freaking word balloons may as well be printed on color forms.
Jenny Sparks, Elijah Snow, Miranda Zero - THEY'RE ALL THE SAME DAMN PERSON, IDIOTS!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:56 PM on November 29, 2006


Yeah, Alvy, a lot of Ellis' shit is just recycled. I, for one, never got the appeal of Stormwatch or The Authority.
But, he does have some gems. Transmetropolitan, as many have mentioned. Orbiter is strong work. Some of his short 3 issue mini-series are not bad even though he's rehashing the same old same... I do like, Planetary, though. The first trade was a bit weak, but the 2nd & 3rd were really solid and interesting. I've heard that the last few issues of the series were crap, which is a bummer.
posted by papakwanz at 10:21 PM on November 29, 2006


Yeah, I like Planetary too, I'm actually reading through it again right now, trying to remember why the last issue pissed me off so badly.

Buuuut, Planetary's also a good example of why and how Ellis is full of shit; a fun and cool story, but a thinly disguised jeremiad against superhero comics (With a thinly disguised Fantastic Four as the heavies) written by the dude who wrote last year's most superfluous long underwear money grab pamphlet trilogy?

Sure, it was Ultimate and all, but Ellis'd look less like a embarrassing sell-out ass if he had just kept the Old Bastard's Manifesto to himself.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:53 PM on November 29, 2006


Apparently I like the term "thinly disguised" as much as Ellis likes the word "bastard". D'oh.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:54 PM on November 29, 2006


Warren Ellis' Planetary
posted by Tenuki at 11:44 PM on November 29, 2006


Also, re: kaemaril's post... can (or will) the FCC do anything about a show on HBO? I mean, I would imagine the fundies pretty much leave premium cable alone anyway. I don't think there'll be nearly the uproar over this as over, say, Book of Daniel which was on network TV.

Fundy : Preacher, eh? Sounds interesting, it might be worth a look even if it is on that godless sinful wasteland of a channel ... <click>

What's this? GOOD LORD! The last descendent(!) of our saviour is a naked(!) filth-encrusted(!) inbred(!) moron(!) who flings his own shit(!) at people who pass by his cage (!) too closely while yelling 'Humper-didoo!'?

<THUD! - rushed to hospital due to massive stroke>

Nope, no uproar :)
posted by kaemaril at 4:32 AM on November 30, 2006


This should have been made into a show or movie years ago (if at all).

As mentioned earlier, the series—while great—is a little dated now.
posted by Merlyn at 10:28 AM on November 30, 2006


On a happier note, the trailer for "Frank Miller's" 500 LOOKS damn purty, anyway.
posted by rokusan at 1:19 PM on November 30, 2006


rokusan- thank you. just... thank you.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:24 PM on November 30, 2006


tenuki, that is the best thing I have seen this week.
posted by phearlez at 8:22 PM on November 30, 2006


If anyone is still reading this thread & cares:

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=39072

Important and perhaps hope-inspiring portion:

"I gave [HBO] the comics, and I said, 'Every issue is an hour,'" Johnson said at a preview of his upcoming film Ghost Rider in Hollywood, Calif., on Nov. 30. "And it's exactly the book. ... I had my meeting yesterday, and [Preacher creator] Garth Ennis is on the phone, and we're all in the room, and Garth is like, 'You don't have to be so beholden to the comic.' And I'm like, 'No, no, no. It's got to be like the comic.' So that's what's so brilliant about it. It's just like, HBO, who else would do it but them? Nobody. ... HBO is just like, 'Bring it on.'"

posted by papakwanz at 6:34 PM on December 1, 2006


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