Preach On: HBO Developing ‘Preacher’ Series

It looks like fanboys might finally get their wish. Preacher is going to be developed as a series on the holy grail of episodic mature television: HBO.

The bad news, or good news, depending on how you look at it: the show will be run by the man who brought us Daredevil and Grumpy Old Men and a very middling director.

Thanks to PV for reading it first!

Once again, this is only a development deal, so it’s very likely we’ll never see anything tangible from this, but at least it’s finally being done in a place where it has a chance to be a great series. Me, I’m looking forward to watching the Sex Detectives in HD!

And while we’re at it, who are you casting in this?


  1. This is sort of like “careful what you wish for” news. We’ve been saying for years that HBO should do Preachers (And Watchmen and every other mature, intelligent work), so if this doesn’t turn out to be amazing where will we be left?

    The people attached to this certainly don’t inspire any confidence. Not in me, anyway.

  2. Pretty in Pink and the Whole Ten Yards!

  3. Now I liked Grumpy Old Men, a lot. But that’s about as far, tonally, from Preacher as you can get.

    And Daredevil was awful and Ghost Rider looks worse.

  4. The good news is that television is always closer to the creators’ vision than movies. Perhaps you can argue that those movies got butchered by execs and it was out of Mark Steven Johnson’s hands. After all, I wouldn’t say the Buffy movie, Waterworld, or Speed inspired much confidence, but then we got the Buffy tv series, Angel, and Firefly.

  5. I’m cautiously optimistic. I’d like to see it, but I wonder how far they can actually go. I know HBO deals with some dicey concepts, but there’s a lot of over the top.

    I’m interested to see how close it will follow the books or if it will become it’s own story…

  6. I don’t know about this. I love Preacher. I’m really scared that this will suck and suck hard.

  7. Patricia Arquette is the perfect Tulip! And for Cassidy – why not James Marsters? It could work. Hey, I�m great at the casting game!

  8. stop talking bad about ghost rider…

  9. I always pictured Sean Penn in the role of preacher… Some time ago, I saw at (and I swear it, but have no way to proof it) that there was a preacher movie in development and James Marsden was going to be jesse…ugh.

    I swear it wasn’t a dream.

  10. prove it, sorry

  11. I heard the James Marsden as Jesse thing too.

    Preacher could translate to a miniseries pretty well. But I’m not getting my hopes up.

    I’d like to see Jesse be played by Guy Pearce and Jody by Micky Rourke.

    But HBO is pretty good about finding unknowns.

  12. See, I think James Marsden would be a better Saint. Maybe I just can’t shake Reservior Dogs from my head, but I think he’d be good in that role.

  13. Cyclops was in Reservoir Dogs…?!

  14. ERP.


    I so meant Michael Madsen.

    I’m going to get some coffee.

  15. The other day at the movies the trailer for Ghost Rider came on and after it was over I shouted the word “MIERDA” and then someone way behinded me shouted “You’re an idiot.”

    so yeah. My taste sucks, apparently.

  16. I’m thinking both Sean Penn and Patricia Arquette might both be too old for those parts nowadays.

    Guy Pierce maybe. Definitely in the right direction.

    Michael Madsen strikes me as a little more “gangster” than cowboy, but he’s definitely got the right feel as far as presence.

    John Malkovich as Herr Starr? Or is he too old?

  17. You’re the best, Dude.

  18. Pauly Shore as Arseface? Or is he too old?


    at least I didn’t go for Rosie O’Donnell as Allfather.

  19. Heres another link that may shed some more light on the subject.

    Also I think James Marsden would be an AWESOME Jesse and somebody else here already said this but James Marsters as Cassidy would be pretty spot on if he could do an irish accent. The article mentions that apparently Sam Jackson wanted to be the Sain of Killers…I mean I LOVE Sam buuut I can’t see it.

  20. See, I just see Bud, who was kinda a cowboy in Kill Bill when I see Madsen. And I think he’s bulky. I think he’d be a good Saint.

    Am I the only person here that doesn’t think that James Marsden is a good actor? I mean, I’ve never seen him in anything that I though he really acted the hell out of a role. I might just be biased cause I think Cyclops sucks.

  21. I thought he was good in Superman Returns.

    I don’t fault him a whole lot for Cyclops because, all kidding aside, there’s not much of a role there.

  22. I shouted the word “MIERDA”

    and i say how appropriate

  23. Am I the only person here that doesn’t think that James Marsden is a good actor?

    He doesn’t have enough presence (or size) to carry off the most badass Jesse Custer. I’d also have to really believe he’s from the south, and is tough as fuck. Marsden isn’t that for me at all.

    I can’t quite think of who is though. He’s gotta be a little of everything. He’s tough, smart, but a little simple seeming. Played a little like Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, but not Kurt Russell obviously. But that’s the feeling they should go for in my head.

  24. He doesn’t have enough presence (or size) to carry off the most badass Jesse Custer. I’d also have to really believe he’s from the south, and is tough as fuck. Marsden isn’t that for me at all.

    Where’s Jesse from? I can’t remember. Do they ever say? Is it Texas?

    I can’t quite think of who is though. He’s gotta be a little of everything. He’s tough, smart, but a little simple seeming. Played a little like Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, but not Kurt Russell obviously. But that’s the feeling they should go for in my head.

    I think they need to go for an unknown. It’s a star-making role. They should make a star.

  25. The grandmother was cajun, so I think he grew up in the bayou or somewhere similar.

    His church in the beginning was in Annville Texas.

  26. I think Jesse’s from Louisiana originally but lives in Texas. I haven’t read them in a while, but for some reason that’s what I have in my mind.

    Conor, you’re really right. Cyclops isn’t much of a role at all. And I didn’t think that his role in Superman Returns was all that much of a role either. It’s just the “good guy” in both instances.

    I just haven’t seen him in anything that I think was enough to show me he has any range whatsoever.

  27. I think James Marsden was on “Ally McBeal.” You have to be pretty good to be on “Ally McBeal.” Right? …Oh? Not really?

    I wonder: will HBO’s version of “Preacher” out-Preacher itself?

  28. if you’ll recall, the area that Jesse grew up in was on the border of texas.
    As for them ruining preacher with a badly made series?
    No matter how bad this ends up, the comics still kick ass. Not to mention HBO rarely has a bad show.

  29. Marsden was always sort of anonymous until Superman, and he was great in that.

    Ed Norton or Billy Crudup for Preacher maybe. Is it typecasting to want Clint as the Saint? He’d never do it, but he IS the Saint in Unforgiven.

  30. I always pictured the Saint as Clint. But Clint of about 15-20 years ago.

    Crudup is a pretty good one. Norton, too citified. And I’m a huge Norton fan. I think that a lot of actors are too citified.

    And while Conor’s right, they should be going for an unknown. But this is just for fun.

  31. no no, the saintneeds to be someone grizzled, like…charles napier

  32. You’re telling me that William Munney wasn’t grizzled. He’s the definition of grizzled.

    Except Uncle Owen from A New Hope. He’s the most grizzled.

  33. yeah but charles napier lOOKS like the saint

  34. Not enough screen presence for my taste, but I see where you’re going.

    As you can see, I’m all about “screen presence” which is damn near indefinable.

    For Jesse, what about Viggo? Or am I way off?

    I mean, I’m guessing the voice of god isn’t very muppet like. Yet Viggo is…

    Ooh! I got one for Jesse:

    Based on his work as Captain Speirs in Band of Brothers, which was an incredibly cast HBO program.

    Also, how about Chris Meloni for either Jody, Herr Starr, or even possibly the Saint.

  35. besides, it hink clint sounds alittle too “cool”
    ive always imagined the saint as having akind of simple down to earth weary voice.

  36. The problem with casting jesse, is i see him as tough and texan, but not a yokel, and thats a hard mix. I feel like the cast shouldnt be too hip, like they were written as these misfits, maybe not defective, but def. not saks fifth avenue cool
    ,viggo is much too “in” right now

  37. How about the english guy from dead like me for proinsias

  38. Oooh! Matthew Settle – if he can pull of the accent.

  39. too thick, we are going for a thiiiin irishman

  40. Too thick for Jesse Custer?

  41. Well if it’s for fun

    Jesse: Oh Boy this is a hard one, I’d have to agree an unknown is best, but if he had to be established I’d go with Josh Brolin, not sure why, maybe I’m crazy, but he hasn’t done anything in a while, and I think he might be able to pull it off.

    Cassidy: Sean Patrick Flanery (I know he’s 40 so it might be to old, but a few years back and I think it would work)

    Tulip: Maggie Gyllenhaal (I suppose she’s already kind of a name, and dark hair, but if dyed I think she’d do a hell of a job, see her in Sherrybaby, then you might see what I see)

    Saint: William Sadler (I think if he grew his hair out and bit of age make up, he’d kick some serious ass)

    Arseface: This is hard since (in Vol 4.) he’s normally looking teenager. And it can’t just be a make up job, and just throw anyone up there. This is a part I’d deffently give to an unknown as crazy as that might sound.

    Maybe I’m going to commercial, but whatever, it’s just a thought.

  42. This… This hurts me.

    I don’t have HBO.

    I have to get HBO just to watch this. Good or bad.


  43. How about Sawyer from Lost (I dont know the actor’s name) as Jesse!!!! Hes from the south and he’s kinda of a badass on Lost he just needs to crank it up for Jesse.

  44. Who’s going to play the big fat guy that throws up all over himself and then eats cake? Man that was disturbing enough in a book, hell the whole story is very odd and disturbing. I think they still have to tone it down a bit for tv even if it’s HBO. can’t wait to see this on Nick at night in thirty or fourty years in re runs.

  45. Sawyer was my pick to play the Comedian in my Watchmen movie.

    I think I’d cast him as Jody before Jesse, but he should damn well be in it.

  46. Visually, i think amy smart could pass for tulip, as for her voice? i could never really imagine it when i read the books.

  47. HBO is a fantastic channel for the Preacher! However I do have my concerns like fore example what are they going to do about Jesse seeing The Duke? Are they going to keep it in the same spirit as a John Wayne Film or are they going to do the whole modern it up? I hope they don’t try to modernize it because preacher really paid homage to the Wayne western.


    Johnson: 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!

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

    Johnson: 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! �.

    Johnson goes on to say that he�d like to have guest directors, such as Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez. �I want it to be a prestige thing, you love Preacher? Come do a show,� he says. �Usually it�s a guest actor, I want it to be guest director.�

  49. Lord I hope this works out. Although I can’t see this whole “Guest Director” thing work out if he wants to stay exactly in the spirit of the book.

  50. The guest director thing is cool, but in TV of all the major players, the director usually has the least impact. The producers/head writer usually drives most of the ship, even at the episode level.
    Still cool.

  51. Hey that suggestion of Matthew Settle as Jesse Custer is probably the best so far. I’ve gotta say that I used to agree with Sean Patrick Flannery too, but after re-watching the Boondock Saints, i realised his Irish accent (although good) would need to be a lot better and much more pronounced.
    I personally think James McAvoy would do a great job, as he’s young, a brilliant actor, can do a great Irish accent (see ‘Inside I’m Dancing’) and has enough of an unconventional charm about him (I’m thinking the nose and stubble).

    But realistically, I think casting mostly unknowns would be better, so as not to spoil the characterizations with memories of the actor’s previous roles.

  52. Sorry, I meant Sean Patrick Flannery as Cassidy not for Custer. Just to clarify.

  53. Longish interview with Mark Stephen Johnson about Preacher.

    NRAMA: I love many of Howard Deutch’s films, especially the John Hughes ones, but I think many fans were confused by the announcement of his involvement.

    MSJ: First, it is not decided whether I’m going to direct it, if Howard’s going to direct it or if we’re going to have someone else direct it. That was a bit of jumping the gun. Howard and I were talking about that again this morning. We’re not sure yet. We have to get that far. This is all still preliminary. I still have to write the pilot and if we go ahead and shoot it, there’s a chance I might do it or Howie might do it or someone else might do it. People assumed that since Howie has done a lot of television. But that hasn’t been decided yet. Again TV is different from film in so many different ways and Howie’s experience with HBO is that he won an award doing a Tales From the Crypt for them, which a lot of people don’t know.


    NRAMA: Please treat me like I’m stupid for the next couple of questions. So Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon sold the television rights therefore they don’t own them anymore, right?

    MSJ: That’s right.

    NRAMA: So now if Garth or Steve don’t like something in a Preacher TV script, will it be changed?

    MSJ: I’m not sure. I really don’t know, that has to do with Garth’s deal on the project. But trust me, I’m emailing Garth and I’m going to be calling Garth and he’s going to be part of this process, probably more than he’ll want to be. He’ll probably change his number and get a restraining order because I want to consult him on everything. Why wouldn’t you? In my opinion he’s the greatest writer in comics.

    A lot more in the link.

  54. Here’s an idea for Cassidy: Dennis fucking Leary. Ok granted he’s older and probably would enver do it but think about it; heres Irish descent and he’s fucking insane. For jessie and Tulip? I got nothin’

  55. I’m all for Dennis fucking Leary and found myself also unable to type Dennis Leary without the fucking. Something about him

  56. I love Denis Leary. But he is about 25 years too old for the role.

  57. but he’s dennis fucking leary man

  58. Yes, and he’s 49 years old!

  59. makeup
    lots of makeup

  60. Just Imagine him saying:
    you klnow what the problem with Cassidy is: he’s an asshole

  61. Cassidy would be well played by Sean Patrick Flannery. I feel he looks and could act the part. Remember that Cass has to be charming as well.

  62. If it was Denis Leary, the character would be Denis Leary, not Cassidy.

  63. I think Denis Leary is fucking great on Rescue Me, but he’s still playing Denis fucking Leary. I gotta agree with Josh on this one. And Conor. I love Leary, but he is too old.

  64. What about Skeet Ulrich or Stephen Dorff? They’re kinda Leary-esque, aren’t they?

  65. No, no they aren’t at all. I think you really need some glasses mate.