The premiere for the new AMC show Preacher was held over the weekend, and I am so ready for this show to be here already. The trailers have been really good, the early screenings for the pilot were really well-received. The pilot premieres on May 22 and replays on May 29, after which I’ll be reviewing it. I can tell I’m going to have a horrible Jesse Custer Problem. Not a Dominic Cooper Problem, but specifically a Problem when he’s in character as Jesse Custer, the cursed preacher headlining the show. The marketing emphasis has largely been on the violence and the Southern Gothic tone of the story, but there’s a supernatural bent that makes Preacher sort of Justified by way of Game of Thrones.
Part of the supernatural plot—and this isn’t a spoiler, this is the basic setup on which the entire world of Preacher exists—is basically that God quits and sh*t starts going wrong, and Jesse Custer, a hard case Texas preacher, accidentally acquires the power of the Word of God. Obviously, this is going to be a lightning rod for controversy, and probably a big part of the reason that AMC avoided playing up this angle in the marketing. But when they started screening the pilot episode, a specific joke about religious leaders was widely reported—you can read the details here if you don’t care about spoilers—and may have already drawn the ire of Xenu.
In an interview with Mike Ryan at UPROXX, Seth Rogen, who co-created the series and directed the pilot with his creative partner, Evan Goldberg, said that they “might have got a call from his [Tom Cruise’s] camp” about the context of the joke. After The Interview, I don’t know how anything could rattle Seth Rogen, but Xenu is f*cking creepy. There’s also the inevitability of Rogen one day running into Cruise and having to explain himself, as he points out, to arguably the biggest Movie Star on the planet. I don’t think Tom Cruise has a sense of humor about Xenu, so that’s not going to be a fun conversation.