defrog: (onoes)
[personal profile] defrog
ITEM: There is talk that Preacher – the legendary comic book from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon – has been greenlighted for a TV series, or at least a pilot. There is no proof of this. But it could be a thing.

Fan reaction has been largely mixed to negative, with complaints centered on two elements: (1) it will be on AMC and (2) Seth Rogen has something to do with it.

I can kind of see the argument against AMC – essentially, Preacher pushed the boundaries so hard in terms of sex, violence and Christian blasphemy that basic cable simply can't do it justice in the same way that (say) HBO could. On the other hand, HBO entertained the idea of doing a series several years ago, but decided not to because it was too controversial. So if it’s too evil for HBO, I’m not sure how AMC will deal with it. 

Still, I think Preacher was so insane and extreme that no TV or film version could get away with staying that true to the source material. Even if the filmmakers wanted to, the studios would probably lose their nerve. So any TV series based on it is inevitably going to water it down a little. Whether that's a bad thing will depend on who ends up in charge of development, to what extent Ennis is involved, who ends up writing it, and who they cast for the key roles. 

Personally, I think gory violence will be no problem if The Walking Dead is anything to go by, and the sex doesn’t have to be that graphic to stay true to the book. As for the religious aspect, considering that Supernatural already has lasted eight seasons on free-to-air television with a Heaven/Hell war in which angels are bad-ass and God is a sort of absentee landlord/deadbeat dad, I don’t imagine Preacher will have all that much trouble outside of the usual activist groups. AMC will probably get more heat for Arse-Face. 

Some fans may argue that it’s the extreme nature of the comic that defines it, so you can’t justify toning it down. That’s probably true. But it’s also true that TV, film and comics are not interchangeable storytelling formats. Moreover, TV/film versions of comic books are not made solely for comics fans. They’re made for a broader audience. So there’s going to be trade-offs.

And they don’t have to be bad trade-offs. The obvious comparison is The Walking Dead. Some fans of the comic hate the TV version, but the show has been successful on its own terms. It’s a good example of how to translate a story from one format to another and make it work within the limitations of that format. (DISCLAIMER: I’ve never read the TWD comics, so I could very well be talking out of my ass here.)

So in the end, I think Preacher has potential to be a great show, even if it turns the volume down a little. It could also suck big bollocks, even if it follows the comics panel by panel. But that would be true no matter what cable TV channel was developing it. So we’ll see.

As for Seth Rogen … well, who knows? I’m not really a fan, and I didn’t really care for his take on the Green Hornet. But if he’s not involved in the acting or writing, I don't have a problem with it.

And it’s all speculation at this point anyway. So I can’t get too worked up over something about something that may not even happen in the first place.

Gone to Texas,

This is dF

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