So it’s definitely happening. Preacher is being made for TV. AMC have clocked that the success of The Walking Dead means that there’s a world full of people itching to have their favourite comics made into TV series. This is almost as exciting as the rumours that The Sandman is being adapted.
Of course, there is some trepidation about the whole thing. Purist fans of The Walking Dead have scratched their heads at some of the changes AMC made to the plot, for instance. Me, I grew up with the organic and delirious mess that is the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy universe so I’ve come to accept that change is inevitable. (Although really, they could have resisted the urge to force a hero/villain, save-the-universe mechanic into the film. It’s an absurd creation, something that linear has no place there! But I digress…)
For me, there’s a balance between leaving the core of the story intact but also realising film is a different medium. Watchmen essentially used the book as a storyboard (except for making Ozymandias clearly dodgy from the outset) which was great but also, you know, maybe a missed opportunity? I won’t necessarily spit the dummy at any changes they make to Preacher, just the bad ones.
But of course, the question you have to ask is who will be in the cast? Here are my suggestions for some key roles.
Jesse Custer - Michael C. Hall
I like Michael C. Hall, and despite some of the trashier tones of Dexter as a series I think he’s got something. I mean, I'm still trying to forgive Dexter Morgan given I’m a big Six Feet Under fan - David, what happened? You’re breaking my heart! His CV, though, reads like a man given over to developing a full and nuanced performance. None of this flitting from film to film or chasing starring roles as generic cookie-cutter heroes. It’s like he thinks acting is a job or something. Add in the chiselled looks and you’re on to a winner.
Tulip O’Hare - Abbie Cornish
Ok, this one’s hard. I’m thinking Patricia Arquette in True Romance but less whacked-out and dippy. Abbie Cornish is the one who comes to mind as being able to carry the iron will and make Tulip dangerous. If she can pull off the southern accent and be vampy enough it could work. Maybe it’s just me but it’s hard to find the right match, am I just missing an obvious strong actress?
Cassidy - Michael Smiley
For years Smiley was just Tires from Spaced to me, until I saw Kill List. Oh man did that change my view of him. Add the superlative A Field in England to the mix and you have credentials of a man who can do fierce and violent along with great comic timing. Oh yeah, and he’s lanky and Irish. Sounds like Cassidy to me.
Herr Starr - Michael Ironside
No, not Kevin Spacey. Lord, please, not Spacey. No smirking allowed, Starr is an unremittingly miserable git. Hugo Weaving, now there’s a man who can do humourless. He’d need to crank up the humanity 10% from the Agent Smith/Elrond symbiote of course. But no, neither of them. Herr Starr needs to be brutal, hugely angry at the world but also played by someone who has a sense of humour. Maybe he's too old, but go watch Scanners and Starship Troopers again, then try and tell me Weaving is your man.
The Saint of Killers - Michael Wincott
Let’s assume Eastwood won’t do it. You do know Wincott, even if you don’t recognise the name. Maybe best known for whining his way through Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, he also has a great ability for stony and implacable reserve. And don’t forget that voice.
Arseface - DJ Qualls
Just look at him.
All Father D’Aronique - John Goodman
No, it’s not because he’s fat. Anyone would need a fat-suit to play the All Father. It’s because he makes such a great unhinged patriarch. The Coen Brothers spotted it, think of O Brother, Where Art Though or Inside Llewyn Davies.
Clearly this will generate lots of dissent so commence fervent debate in 3...2...1...