AMC's much-anticipated Preacher adaptation hit the ground running in its inaugural season, and has already been renewed for a second season. At one point, though, it looked like the long-gestating project would never make it across the finish line.
Kevin Smith recently spoke to Preacher creator Garth Ennis, executive producers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, and actor Dominic Cooper about the project for Geeking Out, and how difficult it was to get it made.
When asked if they ever thought this moment would happen, Ennis replied: "I did get cynical, Steve Dillon and I both got cynical actually."
"You could make a drinking game out of it."Rogen chimed in. "Every time someone tries to make Preacher you take a drink. It was, I mean there was very little reason to believe that we could do it. We just happened to think we could.
Preacher was originally pitched as a film before it was adapted to TV, but in either form, there were numerous obstacles.
"We couldn't get the rights to it," said Rogen. "We couldn't get through to whoever was controlling the rights, which it was various producers and people like that.
"You could kind of get the vibe that "yeah you might make it nice but like, we need a serious director to even get it made" added Goldberg, "because it was a movie at that time, and they needed a big name to get the money to justify that as a film."
Rogen did identify one problem with most of the earlier pitches, and that was their lack of humor.
"And I think people were always underestimating how important the humor was to it, and I think in all of the nonexistent iterations of it if I can identify one common thread in them, it seems to have been that they didn't emphasize the humor as much as maybe they should have."
The book moves at a brisk pace and doesn't waste any time getting started. That pace was going to need some tweaking before it could make the transition to a full television series according to Ennis.
"We've talked about this before, I mean I confirmed for them a suspicion that they'd arrived at anyway that they were going to have to change it. The breathless pace of the book just wouldn't translate that way to the screen. They were going to have to calm it down a little bit, and I said just keep the spirit."
According to ComicBook.com's Jamie Lovett, they succeeded in keeping the spirit while giving fans much needed time to get to know these characters before they start their road trip for answers.
"Preacher's first season felt like a prequel to the comic, which was a bold move on the part of AMC and the showrunners. With Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy now on the road and searching for God, I'm looking forward to seeing how the second season shapes up."
Preacher returns to AMC in 2017.