HBO Loses Faith in Preacher

Preacher series is dead in the waterYou may recall a few months back that a lot of hoopla arose surrounding the announcement that Mark Steven Johnson, he of Ghost Rider infamy, would be tackling a miniseries for HBO based on Garth Ennis’ beloved comic series Preacher. The plan was large; at one point every single issue of the comic was going to be an entire episode of the show (really the only way it would work). Now, however, Johnson has revealed that it was always close, but no cigar.

“We were budgeting and everything and it was getting really close to going,” Johnson told Comics Continuum. “But the new head of HBO felt it was just too dark and too violent and too controversial. Which, of course, is kind of the point!”

If that’s the reason the show will not come to pass, I’m actually glad for its demise. To make a tame, watered-down Preacher would be far worse than never making Preacher at all. Of course, there’s always the possibility of a film or two, but something tells me that would be even more difficult to push through.

But hell, if someone finally made Watchmen a reality, anything’s possible so keep on hoping!

Johnny Butane

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  • Chainsaw

    Why does Hollywood hate me so?

    Well, upside is, maybe it’ll fall out of Mark Steven Johnson’s hands now. It drives me nuts that he still claims that he’s a comic “fan”, yet makes utter crap for movies. Seriously, he’s like the Paul WS Anderson of comic movies. A fraud through and through.

    • G.D.

      Well said. Perfectly said.

      Except that…I would actually be saying “Why does Hollywood hate me so?” if this WAS going to air under the hand of Johnson.

  • Krazy Eyes

    Well this doesn’t bode well for the in limbo adaptation of George RR Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” epic that HBO’s been sitting on for a couple of years.

  • The Buz

    I pray Showtime gets a hold of it. Fuck HBO. They’d cancel it after one season.

    • G.D.

      I know, right? There are NO shows on HBO that last very long. And they certainly don’t support shows like The Wire which they recognize are great and very well received critically, but don’t have great viewership.

      They cancelled Carnivale after two seasons, therefore they never give any shows a chance.

  • David

    I’ve got to say that I’m with G.D. on this one. “Preacher: From the minds that brought you Ghost Rider and Grumpy Old Men.” That didn’t exactly instill confidence in me when this project was announced, so this news is not a crushing blow. I’m thinking that Johnson’s line “…it was just too dark and too violent and too controversial” is probably just horseshit he told the fans. HBO just figured out now that Preacher might be controversial? Let this property settle for a while and maybe the right people will get behind it someday. If not, we’ll always have the funny books.

  • G.D.

    Thank GOD this finally died. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for this to fall apart.

    I suspect that rather than thinking it was too dark or controcersial, someone finally unwrapped those Daredvil and Ghost Rider DVDs and realize what they were getting into.

    I’m all for a good Preacher adaptation on HBO, but if it is going to be done by this hack, I’d rather have a PG-rated version on ABC under a good filmmaker. Ugh.

    • Sirand

      Johnson was only going to produce, not direct. He was going to adapt the books word-for-word, an episode per issue, and let Preacher fans like Rodriguez and Tarantino direct.

      HBO was the only chance this had for an adaptation. If they got cold feet, it will NEVER happen.

      • The Woman In Black

        Maybe Showtime will pick it up. They’ve gotten much edgier and darker than HBO these days.

      • G.D.

        I’ve got the series in a box in my closet and I’d rather read the books again than read something where the guy doesn’t even adapt it…someone who doesn’t even realize that comics are different from motion pictures and adaptation is NECCESARY to bring a property from one medium to another.

        Adapting the books word for word? What, were they going to have 12-15 minute episodes?

        So it never happens? Good. I wouldn’t want this guy anywhere near ANY property I’m interested in. I’d like someone with some imagination and ideas to adapt it rather than just transcribing the comics. What the hell is the point of that?

        I say good riddance. The last thing I want is to have my favourite comic series ever turned into a piece of shit.

        • Sirand

          Even Garth Ennis has described the books as “movies.” It’s one of the few things that doesn’t NEED to be messed with. The dialogue and visuals are cinematic as all hell. Johnson had the right idea for once in his life.

          • G.D.

            They’re definitely very cinematic, but that doesn’t change the fact that some things that happen in comics don’t translate well into movies. You still need to look at how you’re going to structure it and handle the pacing, and when you have a hack like this in the driver’s seat, you’re going to screw it up. You’re going to have to combine issues to make the episodes work and you’re going to have to structure single episides to work as episodes as well as fitting into arcs.

            Yes, Preacher was very cinematic, but you can’t just transfer the issues to the screen.

  • upstartfilm

    Humper dumper damn.

  • Conrad Straker

    “Looses”? 😉

  • Kryten Syxx

    “too dark and too violent and too controversial”

    Lord forbid HBO actually show something that is made for cable television…