When the adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s comic “Preacher” aired its first season on AMC in 2016, it took a slightly different approach than the source material.
Rather than begin the show where the first issue of the comic started, the first season actually served as a prequel allowing fans to get to know central characters like Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga), and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun). With Season 2 beginning the story of the comics in full, Seth Rogen — who is an executive producer on the show — said there was much less pressure.
“It was much more nerve-wracking changing the beginning of the comic,” Rogen told Variety. “That’s what was really scary. If you were expecting the comic within one second of seeing the pilot you would have the realization that you were not getting that. There’s much less pressure now knowing that we are getting into stuff that’s A: is just more exciting for us to be executing, and B: if you’re a fan of the comics it’s more of the stuff you’ve been waiting to see.”
“It was exciting to know what was to come,” Sam Catlin, the showrunner for “Preacher,” added. “It felt like we’d had our vegetables and now we get to have dessert.”
Rogen, fellow executive producer Evan Goldberg, and Catlin found plenty of benefits in making Season 1 a prequel while they worked on Season 2. Chief among them was the development of Jesse — the struggling Texas preacher who is possessed by Genesis, the offspring of an angel and demon relationship, and gifted with a manipulation power that he considers to be the Word of God.
“We wanted to see Jesse as a preacher, and [to see] Jesse have a relationship with God that was good before it turned really sh—y,” Catlin said. “It was really his character that was one of the reasons we felt necessitated having the first season feel like a prequel.”
“Also, it’s called ‘Preacher’ but you don’t ever see him preach in the comics,” Goldberg continued. “The story just begins, and we wanted to establish that and some of the emotion and history behind that.”
Season 1 of “Preacher” ended with the small Texas town of Annville getting blown off the map, along with the entire population. Aside from Jesse, his girlfriend Tulip, and Irish vampire Cassidy, of course, who are headed out in search of God to either help him or — in Jesse’s words — “kick his ass.” With Season 2 finally beginning to adapt the story from the comics, questions about what definitely needed to be included — and what could be toyed with — arose.
“Tons and tons of conversations is how we decide what to keep and what to change,” Rogen said. “Sam and the writers talk at length about every aspect of the comics about what to keep and what to change, and how to keep it and how to change it.”
“There will always be discrepancies,” Catlin added. “But we hope that every character, and every moment, and every scene feels in the world Garth Ennis created. Even if it’s not the exact same story, or it’s a new character, it should always feel like ‘Preacher.'”
Season 2 of “Preacher” returns to AMC on June 25 as part of a two-night premiere event. While you wait, take a look below at an exclusive poster.