AMC’s First Preacher Trailer Teases a Godless World

By  · Published on November 2nd, 2015


AMC recently closed up shop on two of its most popular and critically-acclaimed shows (Breaking Bad, Mad Men), and while Better Call Saul and Halt and Catch Fire are modest successes their biggest hit currently is The Walking Dead. The cable network just released the first trailer for another genre series they’re hoping has the same monster appeal. Preacher is based on a comic by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon and follows the adventures of a priest whose circumstances lead him to scour the globe in search of his former employee, God.

The comic made strides towards film and television adaptations previously with filmmakers as diverse as Rachel Talalay (Tank Girl), Howard Deutch (Some Kind of Wonderful), and Sam Mendes (Skyfall) on board to direct, but controversial story lines, financial concerns, and disinterest kept these iterations from reaching production. Persistence paid off though, and the right combination of timing and talent is finally bringing this blasphemous brilliance to the screen.

Turns out the guys who gave us This Is the End and The Interview are now bringing us a less broadly comic but equally violent and absurd piece of pop entertainment. Check out the first trailer for Seth Rogen & Adam Goldberg’s Preacher.

I don’t read a lot of comics, but Preacher is one of the rare titles I devoured on contact. It’s admittedly been a few years since I’ve opened the covers on any of the 66 issues (or eight collected volumes), but this trailer seems to be glossing over quite a few important elements from the story. Stop reading here if you want to go into next year’s premiere blind.

The trailer suggests that Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) is a priest who’s possibly lost his faith and has now set off as some kind of crusading vigilante. That’s accurate on the face of it, but it neglects to mention that an incident in his church has left him with a supernatural stowaway known as Genesis – the spawn of the love between an angel and a demon – and a power he comes to call “the word of God.” It imbues him with the ability to make people do his bidding simply by speaking it, and it’s one of many tools he uses in his quest for a face-to-face with God who he’s discovered has left both Heaven and humanity behind. This is only a 90 second glimpse, but while it’s expected that they can’t – and shouldn’t – hint at everything it’s a bit surprising that the trailer features nothing of the supernatural.

Jesse faces all manner of obstacles and foes on his journey, but he has two friends along for the ride, one old and one new. The former is an ex-girlfriend named Tulip (Ruth Negga, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and the latter is a century-old vampire from Ireland named Cassidy. The comic moves the trio through a handful of smaller story lines in service of the larger one, and while it’s unknown at this point how close the show will stick to the source material it’s probably safe to assume the first season will focus on the first arc (collected in the trade paperback “Gone to Texas”). If that’s the case then should we also expect to meet the Saint of Killers, an immortal gunman sent down to Earth to clean up this Jesse/Genesis mess?

One glance at episode #1’s cast list on the IMDB page though suggests that’s not to be, but it also features at least one character surname that doesn’t show up in the comics until around issue #41, so what I’m saying is we really know very little at this point. And that’s okay.

Some degree of change is to be expected in the move from page to screen, and we’ll have to wait to see just how much has been altered. You can already hear the furious keystrokes of simpletons irritated that the show’s Tulip isn’t quite the fair-skinned blonde of the comic, but the rest of us can relax knowing it’s in the hands of artists who themselves are big fans. So what do you say we save the outrage for next year when we discover that the Saint of Killers has forgone his Western-themed motif in favor of dressing up like a construction worker or sailor.

Preacher premieres on AMC in 2016.

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.