How AMC's 'Preacher' Will Be Different From The Comics

This week AMC presented a panel on Preacher for the Television Critics Association. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and showrunner Sam Catlin were on the panel with cast members to discuss their adaptation of Garth Ennis's comic. Fans will notice the show diverge from the comics immediately in the pilot, which Ennis himself approved.

"We talked with Garth and Garth very much encouraged us to make a lot of small changes and make it a good show first and foremost," Goldberg said. "We want fans to get everything they loved of the comic and still get some twists and turns." 

The comic series also has a definitive end, and both AMC and the creators hope Preacher can run for years. "We never did that exercise but my thought is it wouldn't stretch out to the length of a hopefully successful series," Rogen said. "We're fans of the comic and we're going to make a show we like, and we hope that translates to fans of the comic as well [and also be something] if you've never heard of the comic book, you love."

Comparing the adaptation to AMC's own The Walking Dead, Catlin said Preacher will have Easter eggs from the comic books that may mean nothing to first-time viewers. "That's actually one of the most fun parts about writing the show," Catlin said. "It's like when you watch an episode of The Simpsons where it works for the grownups and the eight-year-olds. There's all sorts of Easter eggs throughout it. We're very conscious of what the Preacher audience is expecting. That's the fun part of having that subterranean dialogue with fans of the book that doesn't confuse people coming to the show for the first time."

One character included from the comic books is Arseface, a boy with a gunshot wound to the face. KNB created the visual effect worn by Ian Colletti. "The starting place was finding Ian Colletti because we had to find out what his face looked like, what his body structure was, and have it not look cartoony or silly," Goldberg said. "And very technically, we had to make sure the actor could emote. We had to make sure you could see that he could be happy or sad."

Rogen added, "There had been something online of some test someone had done that looked exactly like it looked in the comic. As soon as I saw that 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. There's a threshold where that becomes difficult in short bursts."

Other discussions involved whether or not a victim should have his nose or ear bitten off. They went with ear. "We had a long talmudic argument about the guy who gets [stabbed with] the corncob should have his ear bitten off or his nose," Catlin said. "It basically went, 'The nose, that's just disgusting, you can't do that.' So we went with the ear."

Goldberg recalled doing a similar nose gag in one of their movies. "We did that briefly in This Is the End," Goldberg said. "Any longer than that was too much."

The Preacher show also has a wicked sense of humor. "That's Garth's creation," Catlin said. "There's lots of violence and drama and all of that but there's always comedy. That's the opportunity he's given us. There's violence and also melodrama, but we're going to try to make people laugh. Characters will do horrible things one episode and then come back and do very silly things."

Preacher premieres later in 2016.