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SYFY WIRE San Diego Comic-Con 2019

Preacher finds God and makes him an enemy in an outrageous SDCC panel

By Don Kaye & Brian Silliman
Preacher Season 4 Dominic Cooper Ruth Negga

Soon to enter it's fourth and final season, the television adaptation of Preacher is truly one of a kind. The AMC series can be deadly serious, and then turn into bloody hilarity at the first sound of a godlike voice. Adapted from the original comic by Garth Ennis by Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen, there's really nothing quite like it. 

What kind of misadventures will face the Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga), Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) and the rest of the gang in their final showdown? The god squad came to San Diego Comic-Con to spread the good word, and SYFY WIRE was there to listen and learn. 

Right off the bat, we got a new trailer for the final season, and it is... something else. 

Following the trailer, Rogen, Cooper, Negga, Mark Harelik (God) and Julie Ann Emery (Lara) took to the stage. Rogen naturally with a joke, saying, "I know the creators of Game of Thrones didn't show up to answer questions for their show, but feel free to ask me any questions about Game of Thrones and I'll try to answer them," while mentioning that they always knew that this would be the final season. 

"I think people like the show when it's moving forward fast," Rogen continued. "Early on we experimented with the pace, but we found that people just liked a sheer mass of insanity." He added that he hoped that fans of the comics saw things in the trailer that they recognized. According to him, they sat down and said, "what do we need to do before the show ends?"

"We pushed it crazier and crazier and crazier...there's a shot of God creating dinosaurs… When my partner Evan sent a note to the VFX crew asking if we could add a butthole to one of the dinosaurs, I knew the show had gone off the rails. And to their credit, they added it."

In terms of the show’s ongoing tension between Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy, Cooper said that "there's a lot of ambiguity, jealousy, and panic.” Harelik then chimed in on playing God, saying, "He’s created man in his own image, and when you take a look at people, you see there's some good aspects and some pretty scummy aspects… so the show has taken that message very literally— God has made man in his own image, and man has made God in his own image... in Jesse Custer's culture, this is what God looks like, and he ain't a good boy."

Rogen added that God is definitely an antagonist in Season 4, and that "he's into some sick shit." We’ll look forward to that! 

They then showed a clip from the new season, which featured Jesse kicking the hell out of a room full of guys while a tied-up Cassidy watches. Negga and Emery chilled things out by discussing their final scene together. As Negga said, "There is all this rancor, but there's also a deep, grudging respect." Emery responded by saying that she was “gutted” by their last scene, to which Negga said, "You cried, I didn’t."

Most of the series has been focused on the search for God. Now that they've found him, what does this mean for Jesse? As Cooper says, "He wants answers and he wants reasons... he believes in this man and he wants a reason for why he deserted mankind."

Another clip was shown, this time featuring the Saint of Killers and Arseface (Ian Colletti). They’re ordering food in a diner, and Arseface naturally orders his meal blended. Saint gets mad when he can't order whiskey, so Arseface orders him a turtle pie instead.

Preacher Panel (SDCC 2019)

Negga said that she is going to miss the fight scenes, of which she had many. Cooper added, "I think it would be very hard to find something where we can do broad comedy on the same day we do a dramatic scene about one's father and a fight scene. That is a mark of how brave the show has been."

Did Rogen ever get pushback from AMC to take anything out? According to him, it only happened once: when they blew up Tom Cruise in the pilot episode. They were asked to remove it, but he and Evan Goldberg just left it in. Rogen claims that he got an angry phone call from Cruise's representatives as a result. 

Will they continue to look for outrageous material? "Yes, we'll keep doing this until they tell us to stop," Rogen promised. What exactly would that material be? "Marvel and DC seem to have a monopoly on Marvel and DC properties," Rogen said, "So we'll make every other comic that we like. We're doing The Boys and Invincible, and we'll do every other comic book that you would expect us to do that isn't owned by Disney."

Rogen also discussed his initial desire to do this show, and now watching it end.

"This shit's just crazy and we loved it, it made us laugh and we couldn't believe that someone wrote something that was so nuts but had ideas and had an emotional journey." He’s proud of what they did, adding "but I imagine those other guys regret making Bran the king."

"I know what the comics space is like," Rogen continued. "The fact that no one has assassinated me means that we did a pretty good job. It's the first show that I produced, the first that I directed, the first comic I really loved, and so it's crazy that we got to do this."

Preacher will return on August 4th with two back-to-back episodes. In the meantime, why don't you just look in your heart?

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.