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Author Topic: Preacher to be done as HBO series  (Read 14988 times)
Velorath
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on: November 29, 2006, 11:27:32 AM

From Newsarama:

Quote
For years, fans have been saying that if Garth Ennis and Steve Dillionís Preacher were to come to any screen, only HBO could do it justice.

Apparently, DC, Vertigo, Ennis, Dillion and whatever gods watch over Time Warner agree.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Preacher will launch on HBO as a series, adapted by Mark Steven Johnson (Ghost Rider, Daredevil) and directed by Howard Deutch. Johnson and Deutch will executive produce along with Michael De Luca, George Agusto, Chris Bender and JC Spink.

From HR:

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. Given immense powers, the preacher teamed with an old girlfriend and a hard-drinking Irish vampire and set out on a journey across America to find God -- who apparently had abandoned his duties in heaven -- and hold him accountable for his negligence.

The series was created by Irish-born writer Garth Ennis and British artist Steve Dillon, who will serve as co-executive producers. Ken F. Levin, who reps the duo, also will serve as co-exec producer.

The series -- which developed a rabid fan base -- was known for tackling religious and political issues, its dark and violent sense of humor and its observations of American culture. It also was one of the series that helped define Vertigo, the adult-oriented line of comics from DC Comics.

There have been several attempts to bring the comic to the screen, whether big or small, but nothing stuck. A movie version, to have been produced by Kevin Smith's View Askew, among others, got to the casting stage, with James Marsden attached for the title role and a reported budget of $25 million.

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.

Johnson is repped by CAA.

Though the series ended in 2000, after 66 issues, Preacher has consistently been one of DC/Vertigo's best-selling trade collections through both the comic and bookstore market, with each of the nine volumes seeing multiple printings. Like many other Vertigo properties, Ennis and Dillion have a creator participation deal with Preacher, which allows them to continually receive a portion of the revenue generated by the trades and other rights to the property.

While no start date was given, or cast announced, the bar has obviously been set very high for the adaptation of the property, given the reputation of HBO's original series. Given the content of Preacher and the buttons a loyal adaptation of the comic series will push, the network is clearly looking at one of its most controversial series to date.

Ok, so far the main downside I'm seeing is that it's being adapted by the guy that did the Daredevil and Ghost Rider movies.  Of course we haven't seen Ghost Rider yet, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope for that one based on the trailers.  HBO does have a reputation for doing quality shows though, and while I don't have a pressing need to see every good comic property turned into live action, there's a chance this could end up being pretty good.  Of course, as is the way with TV, if it does end up being really good it probably won't find an audience and will get canceled part way through.
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Reply #1 on: November 29, 2006, 11:42:46 AM

No, it's HBO, which means it will get shitcanned 3/4 of the way through the story.

stray
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Reply #2 on: November 29, 2006, 01:45:56 PM

Fuck that cynicism Haem. Your answer should be:

YES!!!!

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Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006, 03:43:18 PM

Oh, I'm stoked about them doing the series. I just want to be sure they'll do the whole series, and not half-ass around and leave the viewers in a lurch. See Carnivale, Deadwood for an idea.

tazelbain
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Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 03:45:27 PM

So you think we'll see a Nazi dominatrix on HBO?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2006, 04:02:05 PM by tazelbain »

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Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006, 04:00:51 PM

James Marsden needs to change his friggin' name.  Every time I see it I think "Spike?  Oh, wait, no, Cyclops."

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
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Reply #6 on: November 29, 2006, 07:06:37 PM

Eh, I knew his name was being thrown around for that failed movie project, but I hope it isn't him in this HBO series. That guy has zero charisma.
Velorath
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Reply #7 on: November 29, 2006, 08:38:30 PM

Eh, I knew his name was being thrown around for that failed movie project, but I hope it isn't him in this HBO series. That guy has zero charisma.

That did make him the perfect choice for Cyclops though.
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Reply #8 on: November 30, 2006, 02:46:26 AM

 Rimshot


I also fall into the 'Spike from Buffy' trap with his name.

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HaemishM
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Reply #9 on: November 30, 2006, 09:29:13 AM

Don't start dissing Cyclops, goddamnit. He's always been my favorite X-Man and the most tragically underused or badly written. He's got tons more depth than "I'm da best der is at what I do" Wolverine douchebag cuntwhistle.

Velorath
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Reply #10 on: November 30, 2006, 11:31:11 AM

Don't start dissing Cyclops, goddamnit. He's always been my favorite X-Man and the most tragically underused or badly written. He's got tons more depth than "I'm da best der is at what I do" Wolverine douchebag cuntwhistle.

I wouldn't be surprised if Cyclops dies at the end of the current Astonishing X-men run (they've hinted that someone is going to).
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Reply #11 on: November 30, 2006, 01:28:36 PM

That would be... unwise.

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Reply #12 on: November 30, 2006, 02:26:09 PM

Haemish's proclivities aside, it would be one of the few times masses of people bought an X-book for Cyclops.

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Velorath
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Reply #13 on: November 30, 2006, 08:14:35 PM

That would be... unwise.

He's lost his trademark visor making his look a bit less iconic, his character is dead in the movies so there's no cross-marketing purposes to keeping him alive, and a heroic death on an alien planet would be an interesting parallel to Jean's death.  It would also be a resolution of sorts to his character arc the past couple issues about being more or less an ineffective leader who was only given the job because the Prof. thought he would wash out of the X-men otherwise.  Colossus' death would be anti-climatic, and while Emma's death might work as a way of showing her redemption, I think there's more of a payoff in having her lead the X-men after Scott dies than there would be in another of Scott's women dying, with very little impact on the X-men as a whole.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2006, 01:57:21 AM by Velorath »
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Reply #14 on: December 01, 2006, 01:34:31 AM

Cyclops has sucked since day 1. I'd buy multiple copies of the first XMen book where he's officially dead. Not the one where he dies though, that might make me look like I support him.
Velorath
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Reply #15 on: December 01, 2006, 02:05:41 AM

Getting back to Preacher, all I know is that they need to get Clancy Brown to play Hugo Root.  I'm sure there'll be plenty of suggestions on the internet for who gets to play Arseface.
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Reply #16 on: December 01, 2006, 09:15:42 AM

They kill Cyclops, the X-men will be officially dead to me. I accepted it in the movies, but he is the heart and soul of the comics. Of course, killing him would fit with their current tactic of emasculating, discrediting then removing all the remnants of the original X-Men. They've de-powered Xavier and made him a pedophiliac Jean Grey-loving secret-keeping baby-killer, they've killed Jean Grey more times than I can count, they've made the Beast into a kitty cat who stays in the lab more than he goes out on missions and also pretends he's gay to piss off his ex-girlfriend, Iceman got de-powered by his own psychosis and is still unable to turn human again, and Angel hasn't been right since they made him blue then un-blued him.

Of course, editorial control on that line has been fucking awful for years, even during the best run of the series (Morrison's run), so why not just totally remove all the past underpinnings of the series and create more shitty books about 198 uninteresting mutant characters.

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Reply #17 on: December 01, 2006, 09:33:40 AM

I don't hate Cyclops really, but heart and soul of the comics? Umm.....Nah. That'd be Xavier and Magneto.
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Reply #18 on: December 01, 2006, 09:50:03 AM

Xavier and Magneto are the patriarchal archetypes of the series. They are now completely removed from any relevance, as both are powerless.

Cyclops was the heart and soul. He bled for the love of his life who died, was reborn and died again. He's been listless ever since. The writers, not even Whedon, have had no clue what to do with him. Morrison was the only one who gave him any kind of a chance, with the psychic affair with Emma Frost, and the writers since have done nothing with that. He's been the most limp-dicked character in the X-Men since then, a complete cuckold. The current X-Men books have gotten good again because they've both gone away from the things that have been weighing the series down, which is that the writers have no idea what to do with the legacy characters like Cyclops and are stuck with shittastic barnacles like the Sentinels hanging around outside and the 198. I suspect it's because they don't like the old characters. Wolverine has been forced down their throats and people try to make him the heart and soul but with him being in 2 of his own books AND Avengers, it's impossible to make him a significant part. So the books have had no heart and unchangeable characters.

Fuck it, they might as well just kill Cyclops so someone with talent and respect for the history can bring him back in 2 years.

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Reply #19 on: December 01, 2006, 02:39:06 PM

Of course, editorial control on that line has been fucking awful for years, even during the best run of the series (Morrison's run), so why not just totally remove all the past underpinnings of the series and create more shitty books about 198 uninteresting mutant characters.
197 after Cyclops bites it. :-D

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Velorath
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Reply #20 on: December 02, 2006, 02:09:50 AM

From an interview with Mark Steven Johnson

Quote
Q: Did the research you did for this kind of prep you for Preacher?

MSJ: Preacher I have always wanted to do. Preacher is like, you know, it's the greatest but it's so difficult. And I love it more than anybody and I remember reading a script a while ago it was gonna go to film and I was like, oh, how do you make a two hour movie from Preacher? You can't do it. So, when I went into HBO I said very simply, here's the comic, there's seventy-five issues plus the four issue Saint of Killers, every issue in an hour. It's a six year show. And HBO, God bless them, went, cool!

Q: So are you staying pretty loyal to the whole storyline?

MSJ: No, not loyal, exact. So it's like, we had our first meeting the other day, I kept waiting for them to go, we're not doing this! (laughing) It's like, I want Odin Quincannon having sex with a meat person. (laughing) If I can do that, I've made my mark on the world. Everything is just like so out there, this is it. They're like, fuckin' HBO's got balls, they were like, yeah bring it! Do it! So, I'm like, it's just like Daredevil, it's just like Ghost Rider, no one comes to your door and says, hey, you want to do these movies? I'm the last guy. But I'm the guy that gets it done because I care and because I do it. People have tried to make Daredevil, they've tried to make Ghost Rider, it hasn't happened, but I got it made. And Daredevil with mixed results, with Ghost Rider I hope much better. The Preacher I hope exact. Like today, I emailed Kevin Smith, I was like, Dude, I just got Preacher, I know you love it, if it goes, and who knows if it will, but if it goes would you please direct an episode. Because I want to go to Kevin, I want to go to Robert Rodriguez, I want to go to all these people and do guest directors. That would be really cool. I want it to be a prestige thing, you love Preacher? Come do a show. Usually it's a guest actor, I want it to be guest director. But keep the spirit of it, keep the vibe of it but also know, there will be a different imprint everytime who comes to direct the show. My job is to help write the show, I am working with Garth [Ennis] everyday, he's a big part of it, make sure it's exactly what we want and let the director put his imprint on it. But it's gotta be a book.

Q: Do you know where you are shooting or anything?

MSJ: I haven't even written it yet. My meeting was yesterday. Again, who knows what will happen. I hope that it will go. They've been trying to make Preacher, like Daredevil and Ghost Rider, for years and years and years.

Q: As the series kicks in, is Garth going to be there everyday if he wants to be?

MSJ: If he wants to be absolutely. My first meeting was yesterday, and Garth is in New York so he was on speaker phone and like all meetings when there's one person on the speaker phone you all go and stare at the speaker phone. But it was so great to talk to him and ask him questions, and as it always happens, with the creators, they're like, don't be beholden to the source material, I just did that cause, A, B, or C. They were like, do whatever you want. I was like, no, no, no, it's gotta be exactly that. So he's the one going, use your own thing. But, with Garth's help, I said to Garth, also tell me are there any stories you wanted to tell but weren't able to. Was there something that you wanted to do but didn't have time, I want to hear that too! We want to fill it out, we want to make it, a six year show, or above with a definite ending the way it does which is obviously, incredibly controversial. Again, nobody would have the balls to do this but HBO.

Q: Do you think it will be harder or easier to do it so exactly unlike Ghost Rider where you could play with it, open it up and pick and choose what you like?

MSJ: Right, no, no, no, no, Ghost Rider is, came in and out of circulation for years because it had flaws. Again the image was great the idea was great adn so my goal was to find out what were the strengths and then what could I bring to it? Like I said, the bounty hunter was my idea. I think it's a good idea, it helps the whole thing be stronger. And the creators and the comic people said, great! We want to do that! Preacher doens't need that. Preacher's perfect in my opinion. All the things that made people go, no it's not for me, make me go, yeah! That's what I am so excited about.

Sounds like he at least wants to do it right.  Six seasons though seems a little ambitious.  It would have other than Sopranos, Oz, and Sex and the City, I can't think of any HBO series that has lasted that long.  With hour long episodes though, I'm sure they'll find once they get going that theres plenty of issues they can condense.
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Reply #21 on: December 03, 2006, 04:21:58 AM

Quote
It would also be a resolution of sorts to his character arc the past couple issues about being more or less an ineffective leader who was only given the job because the Prof. thought he would wash out of the X-men otherwise.  Colossus' death would be anti-climatic,

Isn't that the exact same character arc he had when he lost leadership of the X-Men to a powerless Storm? (Uncanny 201 I believe) And didn't Colossus just die a couple of years ago?

Comics, gotta love em.

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Reply #22 on: December 03, 2006, 04:42:35 AM

Fuck that cynicism Haem. Your answer should be:

YES!!!!

No.  As much as I've been ragging on Haem lately he's right on this count.  HBO will run the first season, hedge it's bets on season 2 (ala Rome and Carnivale) and shitcan season 3.  Forget ever actually completing the story, because any sci-fi/fantasy series on HBO is doomed to an early death.

Oh, and if they do go ahead with this I hope they exorcise the annoying Bill Hicks/Pogues fanboidom from the comics.  Bill Hicks I emphatically don't think was a comic genius, and although I love the Pogues, there was never any reason to highlight them as much as they did in the comics.  It was rather sad and pathetic.  God help me, if I ever write a comic it'll be to tell a story, not to masturbate over what my cultural influences are.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2006, 04:47:15 AM by Big Gulp »
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Reply #23 on: December 03, 2006, 04:46:43 AM

but he is the heart and soul of the comics.

Speaking only from the late 70's/late 80's of the X-Men comics, the heart and soul of the team were either Colossus or Nightcrawler.  Whatever they've done since then doesn't matter.  I'm locked into my late teenager phase of comic books, and I'll be damned if you dislodge me.
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Reply #24 on: December 03, 2006, 06:46:33 AM

because any sci-fi/fantasy series on HBO is doomed to an early death.

I'm not sure what the basis is in that. I don't think they've had one before.

Rome and Deadwood were great (and the little I've seen of Carnivale), but c'mon.....Historical dramas, westerns, and shows about turn of the century freaks just aren't all the rage these days. Historical drama is the only one that has a chance at wide popularity, but if movies are indication, it has to be more action than drama (compare, say, the popularity of Gladiator with Elizabeth).

It's sad, I know, but many people generally do not give a shit about Julius Caesar or Wild Bill. Ask them. Especially women.

And either way, none of those indicate that people wouldn't warm up to Preacher (or sci fi in general). One is not the other. Sci fi is widely popular. Sci fi (especially the down to earth, comic absurdity of Preacher) is a better bet than any of those other shows.

Quote
Oh, and if they do go ahead with this I hope they exorcise the annoying Bill Hicks/Pogues fanboidom from the comics.  Bill Hicks I emphatically don't think was a comic genius, and although I love the Pogues, there was never any reason to highlight them as much as they did in the comics.  It was rather sad and pathetic.  God help me, if I ever write a comic it'll be to tell a story, not to masturbate over what my cultural influences are.

I'll agree there.
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Reply #25 on: December 03, 2006, 10:24:04 AM

HBO at least gives shows a couple seasons to die, if it were on Fox you could go from one week to the next wondering if it will be off the air.

I've never read the Preacher, what would the setting for the show be?  If it is modern day then it might have a shot of a long run even if the ratings aren't so good like The Wire.  The reason HBO had to cancel Carnival and Rome is because, due to their settings, they are fantastically expensive to shoot.  They will never make their money back from subscriptions or DVD sales for marginally popular period pieces like that.  If The Preacher can be shot in a city with a few trips out to a field or desert it will be fine.  I assume it would need some CGI and I don't know how HBO would do that, I can't think of a series that has ever needed it so they could screw it up pretty good.  Like when they made Tony Soprano's mother talk using CGI because the actress had passed away *shudder*.
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Reply #26 on: December 03, 2006, 01:06:01 PM

If The Preacher can be shot in a city with a few trips out to a field or desert it will be fine.


Most of it is urban or Texas desert.

Quote
I assume it would need some CGI and I don't know how HBO would do that, I can't think of a series that has ever needed it so they could screw it up pretty good.  Like when they made Tony Soprano's mother talk using CGI because the actress had passed away *shudder*.

There are moments of angelic and demonic activity, but the gags wouldn't need any more CGI (or even traditional special effects) than a Heroes or X-Files episode.

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Reply #27 on: December 03, 2006, 08:25:57 PM

Don't start dissing Cyclops, goddamnit. He's always been my favorite X-Man and the most tragically underused or badly written. He's got tons more depth than "I'm da best der is at what I do" Wolverine douchebag cuntwhistle.
Hey, I completly agree with you here.  Good to hear somebody else feel this way as well.

Now I can say to others that there is at least 1 other person in the entire world who agrees with me!

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Llava
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Reply #28 on: December 03, 2006, 09:17:15 PM

I like Cyclops too.

He's one of those characters who is great in concept but suffers from almost perpetually bad writing.


................................................like Venom.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
stray
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Reply #29 on: December 03, 2006, 09:20:08 PM

He's one of those characters who is great in concept but suffers from almost perpetually bad writing.


................................................like Venom.

More like Iron Man or *gasp* Superman.
HaemishM
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Reply #30 on: December 04, 2006, 11:52:02 AM

Why does Mark Steven Johnson sound like he's hopped up on goofballs and bathtub liquor while doing that interview? I have much less faith in it. And if HBO did not put in the contract that they will absolutely pay to make every episode he wants in the 5 or 6 year arc, he's huffing paint. The worst part about their treatment of esoteric subjects like Carnivale is that they really aren't beholden to ratings. The only thing I can really see giving them hitches on greenlighting new seasons of shows like that are DVD sales.

I just don't see HBO giving the guy who directed a mediocre Daredevil movie a 6-year commitment on a show where Jesus is supposed to have married and produced a lineage of masturbating retards.

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Reply #31 on: December 05, 2006, 12:41:33 PM

a lineage of masturbating retards.

Doesn't that include pretty much everyone?

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
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Reply #32 on: December 05, 2006, 01:39:19 PM

FAP FAP FAP FAP DURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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Reply #33 on: December 06, 2006, 02:00:28 PM

And there's a longer interview here.

On the plus side, at least he's keeping in contact with Ennis quite a bit.  On the minus side, he keeps bringing up how enthusiastic HBO is about doing this series.  Of course they're enthusiastic right now, the problems come after the show has started and HBO starts to weigh how much they spend per episode vs. how popular the show is.  That and the problems that will come up when HBO decides they need to cut some stuff that was in the comics (and they will).

Oh well, regardless of how it turns out, I'll always have the comics.  HBO charges an arm and a leg for their DVD boxed sets anyway.
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Reply #34 on: December 09, 2006, 12:21:19 AM

I don't agree with the HBO hate.

 I liked the first season of Carnivale, but it did drag on, and I could see how it wouldn't be a popular show.  They still gave it a second chance.  The first few episodes that season were terrific, then ho-hum, then outright shit.  The last three episodes make me wish I had never decided to give the show a try.

Deadwood started adding more new characters than interesting plot lines.  Loved the show, wish they kept it, but at least it went out while it was still good.

Rome might be in my top 3 favorite series, but it can't go on forever.  Rome tells a bigger story from the vantage point of two soldiers.  Do you really want to see Pullo and Verenus when they're sixty?  Do most viewers care about the roman emperors they've never heard of?  it probably could have gone a third season (to really tell all of Octavian's/Antony's stories), but that's about it.

No one would have done these shows if HBO hadn't.


Oh, and Preacher is a pretty good comic, but it's not Transmetropolitan or anything.  Of course it's very character oriented, too, but I can't help but be disappointed with it due to how they handled the religious aspects.  The vanity of God is a nice twist, but God's a pussy outside heaven, and he's scarred shitless of a one-trick pony who can't even find him?  Okay then. 

Although, "Need more gun" might be the single best line ever printed on a comic page.
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