TROUBLE CITY

PREACHING TO PAY TELEVISION

Movie NewsRuss FischerComment

 Last night I snarked a little bit about Scott Collura's encounter with Mark Steven Johnson published in IGN, which ended with a tease about forthcoming Preacher news. Scott took it well, and has already emailed with a link to the Preacher article. (Which had actually been published when I wrote the article last night -- I was simply too tired to see it.)

Johnson has quite a bit to say about his plans for the series -- here's the biggest chunk of what you need to know.

"Right now, I'm really focused on Preacher and making that happen at HBO," says Johnson. "It's great. I wrote the pilot and they love it, and so they asked me to write a bible where I explained how the whole first year will map out. Which I wrote and they loved that. So it's all moving ahead. I'm meeting with visual effects companies, and Garth is very happy. We're working very closely with Garth Ennis and making sure he's involved. He helped me work on the bible and everything else, and so far it's been great. You know, things were a little shaky at HBO recently, so we're waiting until that all settles down to see where it lays."

Check out the original article to read Johnson's comments about expanding the story and casting with unknowns.

I'm really not sure how I feel about this. Preacher is as childish as it is fun, and the comic was so on the nose that there'll be a fine line between making it work onscreen and creating high camp comedy. Is Mark Steven Johnson the guy to hold that balance? Nothing he's done yet says so. A lot will depend on the other writers and directors hired to handle the show. And the similarly-themed, if much less engagingly violent Carnivale already had a rough road at HBO. Granted, that was under different network leadership and Preacher, if well cast, will have the benefit of a charismatic leading man in Jesse Custer. But is HBO's new head going to want to commit to another expensive show, when the current trend is to budget down?