SXSW Conference: Inside the Making of Preacher

I got to sit in on a discussion with the creator of Preacher, Garth Ennis, show runner Sam Catlin and Producer Seth Rogen about the making of the Preacher on AMC. In 2016, Preacher became a show like no other. There were two people (Rogen and Catlin) who dreamt big enough to bring this larger than life comic to the silver screen. Moderator, Terri Schwartz asked them how it came about.

“Well to be honest there were lots of people who tried to make this happen before us,” said Rogen. “But I have wanted this for a long time. I wanted to do this back when I was shooting Pineapple Express. It just wasn’t ever available.”

Seth Rogen said he was still amazed about the things they were able to put on TV. And he isn’t kidding. Preacher is jam packed full of violence and anti religious rhetoric. To be honest, watching season one last year even I was like, “Whoa, they can do that on TV now?” But Rogen talked about how it was perfect timing for them to be able to do this kind of show.

“Television has changed so much. It went from being just this thing you watch on Thursday nights to this incredible creative outlet where we are able to do some amazing things.”

It’s no surprise that Preacher breaks boundaries, and that is exactly what Rogen and Catlin wanted to do.

“We wanted a show that was audacious because of what the comic was. The things that happen in the comic you just can’t believe they happen, “ said Rogen. “So we wanted to do all of those things but we wanted them to make sense. We just didn’t want to do them for the sake of doing them. We wanted it to make sense. There is so good TV right now, that originality is key and that is what we are trying to do.”

Garth Ennis, the mastermind behind Preacher, said that he told the guys that they didn’t need to feel chained to the comic. My impression of Ennis was that he was incredibly laid back, incredibly trusting of Rogen and Catlin and he like what they were doing with Preacher.

Ennis said, “I like what they are doing for these characters. They gave Jesse more life and they gave Cassidy a reason for being there. I was 24 when I wrote this and Cassidy just kind of came out of no where and I think that was for the sake of me just wanting to move the story forward. So I like what they are doing and they have come up with some great changes to the story.”

Ennis went on to say, ” They only time I gave my advice was in the beginning about what I had figured out about the characters.” ” Also I wanted to way in on Herr Starr because he is a huge part of it and a larger than life villain. He is like is Darth Vader was raped by a wookie and he wanted to seek revenge.”

***SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVE FINISHED SEASON 1***

Terri Schwartz asked them about the end of season one and just blowing up the town and everyone in it.

Rogen, “Well… I mean… That happened in like the first five pages in the comic. But we wanted to make everyone have a personal connection to these characters before we blew them up! I mean shows will kill of A character sometimes but hardly ever an almost entire cast of characters. It’s like if you have never read the comics you were going to be sad and if you did read the comics we wanted you to struggle with trying not to to like them because you knew they would be dead.” Rogen laughed.


*** END SPOILER***

 

Rogen and Catlin weighed in on the casting.

“Jesse was by far the hardest to cast because he is such a complex character. To be honest I thought Cassidy would be hard to cast but then we met Joseph Gilgun, and we were like nope never mind, he’s Cassidy. Like he IS Cassidy, “ said Rogen.

Caitlin said that he was convinced the Dominic Copper would be great as Jesse because he had seen him in another film where he played twin brothers that were are both ends of the moral spectrum.

“I think that the translation of all of the characters are spot on,” said Catlin. I would have to agree with this statement. I can’t imagine Tulip, Jesse and Cassidy being played by anyone other than Ruth Nega, Dominic Cooper and Joseph Gilgun.

Season two get 13 episodes this year, up form a 10 episode season one. I got to see a special sneak peak into season two which Seth Rogen said was literally just from the first two episodes. Holy shit! If that’s the case this season is going to blow your mind. It has nothing on season two. Catlin said, “The reason this show hasn’t been done before is because of the vastness of it. The comic spans across the globe and we want to be able to do that.” I hope they are able to pull because we will all be in for an amazing ride for the new seasons to come!