The long-awaited Preacher series is officially one step closer to the screen with an official pilot order from The Walking Dead network AMC.
The network announced today that it committed to ordering a pilot episode for the series based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s celebrated comic-book saga about a Texas preacher with supernatural abilities who sets off on a globe-spanning adventure to hold God accountable for neglecting humanity. The Preacher pilot is expected to begin shooting in 2015, with a series premiere in 2016 if the pilot is received well.
After progressing through various iterations and on-again, off-again status updates, an adaptation of Preacher finally seemed to gain some legitimate momentum last year when it was announced that Seth Rogen and his frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg would produce and develop the series with Breaking Bad‘s Sam Catlin. The pilot was written by Catlin, with Rogen and Goldberg expected to direct it.
“Preacher has been our favorite comic since it first came out,” said Rogen and Goldberg, who also co-directed the upcoming comedy The Interview, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Garth Ennis is one of our idols and it’s an incredible honor to be working on this. We promise we won’t make too many dick jokes and ruin it.”
The original Preacher comic-book series debuted in 1995 and ran for 66 issues and several standalone stories, as well as a spinoff series focusing on one of the series’ supporting characters. The series is widely regarded as one of the greatest comic-book series ever published.
“Steve Dillon and I are extremely pleased to know AMC has taken Preacher to pilot,” said Ennis in a statement accompanying the announcement. “We have had an ongoing voice in the efforts of the writers whom Sony TV and Original Film entrusted with this project, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Sam Catlin, and have been most gratified that they continue to include us, and that they have tackled the project with the type of unwavering commitment and courage needed to present the material as Steve and I intended. This has been a long time coming, but that it continues apace, and with the chance to be delivered episodically, gives Preacher an opportunity to be seen in its best possible medium, not previously possible.”