AMC’s Preacher screened at SXSW yesterday, and the reaction from the audience in the Paramount Theater was BANANAS. Both fans of Garth Ennis’ 1990’s comic series, and those of us coming in without any previous knowledge were left floored by the pilot, directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (who co-created the series) and written by Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad), the third co-creator who will also serve as the series’ showrunner.
We will save a more substantive review until closer to the series’ premiere, except to say that the casting was incredibly well received by SXSW attendees (especially for Ruth Negga’s Tulip O’Hare and Joseph Gilgun’s Cassidy), and comic fans in the Paramount Theater were impressed with Rogen and Goldberg’s decision to alter the storylines to better suit television while completely honoring the spirit of the characters.
Television has been looking for another hit that can compete with the attention and ratings that The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones fetches for a few years now. If the rest of the series is anywhere as good as its pilot, Preacher is almost certainly that show, but untlike TWD and GoT, there’s actually a lot of comedy here (and comedic violence).
Here’s a small sampling of the reaction from those at the screening.
If there is a god, PREACHER should be huge. #SXSW— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) March 14, 2016
PREACHER pilot: promising start captures spirit & tone of comic but strays a lot from source. Some great action sequences & comedy #SXSW— Rob Dean (@neuroticmonkey) March 14, 2016
My take on PREACHER premiere at #SXSW: I went in thinking it would be the Book of Eli meets Dogma and came out thinking Tarantino watch out.— Kathleen Barber (@ksfbarber) March 14, 2016
Y'all the pilot for Preacher was so good. #SXSW— Alexa Gonzaga (@AlexaNGonzaga) March 14, 2016
Preacher debuts on May 22nd, when it will air multiple times over the next two weeks before the second episode airs on June 5th.