The cast of AMC’s Preacher performed a live script reading of Episode 9 at Comic-Con
Friday night in Hall H saw the Preacher panel penned it at an unusually lengthy 2 hours. This is because the cast of Preacher, along with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, performed a surprise live script reading of Season 1, Episode 9 – written by Craig Rosenberg and titled ‘Finish the Song’ – which is the episode that will air this Sunday on AMC.
Rogen explained that getting the cast to agree to this reading was “probably the hardest thing we tried to do all season.” Rogen himself narrated the reading, gleefully reading out the scenes of intense violence. Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga stayed true to character throughout, as did Joseph Gilgun except for one instance, when he chose to adopt a different tone for his character. After Rogen pointed this out, Gilgun retorted: “you said I could [do] whatever I wanted!”
Graham McTavish (The Saint of Killers) and Ian Colletti (Arseface) are said to have played roles other than their own during the reading, for reasons that would be spoilers if delved into. Comedian Jason Mantzoukas, The Flash‘s Danielle Panabaker and Kevin Smith, who was moderating the panel, all stood in for the supporting roles.
The only portion of the episode that wasn’t acted out was the final act, which Rogen rolled on film for the audience instead. This final act is said to be a very visual piece of storytelling which expresses a major idea about a crucial character.
Attendees were asked not to give away what happens in the episode and the only details that have been shared are that the episode involves decapitations, animal sacrifice and pancakes.
The discussion with the cast following the reading centred around Ennis being the one who talked Rogen and Goldberg out of doing a direct adaptation. “[Garth Ennis] said it just wouldn’t time out to produce the 15 seasons that we want to do for Preacher,” the writers explained, which provoked a I have to do this show for 15 seasons?! double-take look from Dominic Cooper.
Ennis explained: “I realised fairly early on that they were going to have to mess with it and I’m okay with that.” He also praised some of the changes that the writers made for the show, such as Cassidy’s falling from the sky introduction, stating: “It’s full of stuff I wish I had thought of.”
It’s well known that the show’s lack of faithfulness is much maligned by the hardcore comic fans, ourselves included, but it’s been said by some in attendance of this reading that this penultimate episode and the promo for the finale imply that all of Season 1 has simply been a different way of getting our characters to where we need them, before Season 2 onwards begins to pay out like the comic. We very much hope that this is the case and in interviews with the Ennis at Comic-Con he has stated that we will see more content from the books as the show progresses.
In the Q&A portion of the panel one audience member challenged the cast to explain why Tulip chose to sleep with Cassidy in the show. The cast gracefully handled this and Negga explained: “When you’re stressed or things are not going well or you’re in a bad place emotionally, sometimes, you return to what is familiar and, for Tulip, what is familiar is chaos and perhaps not making the best choices. I quite like that beat. It shows starkly how vulnerable she is.”
Episode 9, ‘Finish the Song’, will air this Sunday and will be reviewed by us this coming Monday.
Image credits: AMC