The season premiere of Preacher makes a statement about its second season. But it also launches with a wonderful five-minute cold open. From a discussion of foreskin to a shootout with the Saint of Killers(Graham McTavish), it highlights the range of tones the show explores.
This, according to executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, was objective of the sequence.
“We wanted to start where we left off, but start with something that was shocking and exciting,” Goldberg explained at a recent press conference. He also hoped to “give a taste” of the season to come.
For Rogen, the show’s ability to shift tones is one of the primary joys of working on the series. “[Preacher] can be funny; kind of ironic almost. Sometimes [it is] scary and shocking.” Though challenging, Rogen wanted to “show the full range” of “all those things before the credits started.”
“Tone is not something people play with as much as we do,” he added. “And that’s all from the comics.”
To Goldberg, the differences in tone emulated the very different styles of cover artist Glenn Fabry and artist Steve Dillon, who drew the bulk of the original comic series. “That gives you a different emotional attachment to the art,” he explained.
As the directors of the first two episodes, it also allowed them to “lean into” their budget constraints. Half-way into the sequences, Tulip (Ruth Negga) took a police department on a high speed chase. As Rogen explained, they wanted to make it “look bad” and call out their own limitations. “If we can’t take five days and shoot a good car chase, let’s take half a day and let everyone know we’re not trying to make this look good.” Though somewhat indulgent, Rogen said the choice also worked for the story as Tulip, Jesse (Dominic Cooper) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) are united in the same mood.
“We had a lot of conversations about it,” he continued. “And if we had unlimited budget, it probably wouldn’t look like that. Sometimes logistics dictate those decisions, but it’s about taking ownership of it. We’re not the most expensive show on television, but we try to do whatever we want and never tell the writers to limit themselves.”
“When I look at it, I think it’s a lot cooler,” Rogen added.
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