Recently we had the chance to be part of a conference call with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who discussed many things about the TV show Preacher, including what we can expect in season three.
The following is an edited and condensed version of the hour-long conference call.
Keisha Hatchett/TVGuide.com: I’m curious because season two was more of the road trip than we expected and now, we’re getting back to settling down at the plantation and following Jesse’s past. So how will season three differ totally and thematically from season two?
Evan Goldberg: Although the first few episodes are kind of revolve more around the house and Angelville, the show itself traveled a lot this year. I would say maybe even more than it did last year, as far as how many different locations the show takes place in and to how many different cities it takes place in and all that. I think it does continue to expand but I could definitely see how the first few episodes could make it seem like they’ll be largely anchored in Angelville throughout a lot of the season. However, it doesn’t really like come together that way. I think for the story though, I think it’s like last season. You know, I think, this season, the big difference is Jesse needs the help and Tulip has to help him, as opposed to last season when it was kind of the opposite of that dynamic.
Sydney Bucksbaum of Bustle: You’ve been able to bring Preacher to life so far, pretty close to what comic book fans have been expecting, in regards to tone and content, which is really impressive, considering how wild the source material is. So looking at this season, what was the biggest challenge in bringing the story to life?
Evan Goldberg: I think, as anything, the challenge with the show, it’s the same challenge all the time. It’s like, how do we take this world that is, by all means, so off-the-wall insane, and tonally runs the gamut that few things I’ve ever worked on or seen do? How do you balance that with making it seem real enough that people actually care and are invested into characters and don’t feel like they’re watching comic book characters, but they feel like they’re watching real people, and even though they’re doing all this crazy stuff, they feel the stakes of it, and they feel the value of it to the characters? I think, with this show, specifically, that’s always the challenge. It’s like balancing like the madness and the reality, basically.
Jeff Fountain/The GCE: There’s a lot to like about Preacher from the characters; the actors playing them, the story, but the dialogue that comes out of these characters now is just amazing. How do you go about creating/writing the dialogue for each character and do the actors have the liberty to ad-lib along the way?
Evan Goldberg: There is the liberty to ad-lib but there’s not a huge amount of ad-libbing though there definitely is some great stuff. However, that’s Sam Catlin at the core. You know, we read all the scripts, and we make sure that the story makes sense, and we have suggestions but really, Sam is the one honing the actual writing and, obviously, our incredible writing staff. You know, we’re at season three now so we’re all kind of synced up and I feel like everyone knows the voices of the characters and are synced up with each other.
Rebecca Murray/Showbiz Junkies: I just want to know, how did you settle on Betty Buckley for Gran’ma, because she’s absolutely perfect?
Seth Rogen: We saw Split, it was awesome.
Evan Goldberg: Yes, we love Split.
Seth Rogen: We simply said, “We should get the woman who was in Split,” and that’s Betty Buckley.
Evan Goldberg: Yes.
Seth Rogen: She crushes it, she’s just awesome and sometimes it’s that simple.
Ray Flook/Bleeding Cool: There is a tone to the way you’ve been promoting season three of Preacher, which is, “This is what we are, accept us, and if you don’t, there are other options.” Was that an active decision you made going into promoting this season or was it a natural evolution of where things were going?
Evan Goldberg: Oh, we didn’t like go into season three with this plan but you know, the marketing discussed a bunch of options with us. When we talked about this plan, we thought that it really made sense, because it’s a show that really like pushes boundaries and goes for it and that’s why the people who love it, love it. There’s something kind of interesting to the fact that, for some people, this show is just like too crazy and so, we thought we should kind of embrace that in some capacity.
Seth Rogen: Yes, exactly. I think like there are so many shows on televisions now that, to us, you know, being different is a good thing. If you don’t like that, then, guess what? There are a hundred million other shows that you have the opportunity to watch and I think part of it came from the fact that our show kept getting protested, which was hilarious because it’s not an easy show to watch. You know, you kind of have to go to AMC here and watch it when it airs, or use the AMC app, which not as many people use as one might hope. What we also found is people were seeking out the show to complain about it, which was just kind of like a funny dynamic that we saw playing out.
Charlie/Comicbook.com: I’m wondering about the probabilities for Cassidy and where he is headed, as we get into season three.
Evan Goldberg: Well Cassidy, entering season three, Cassidy and Jesse are in a massive argument and Cassidy like despises him. Cassidy really goes on like his own journey. He’s still like integral to the story and he still has a ton of stuff with Tulip and Jesse but he kind of goes on his own side journey for a good portion of it and goes into a fan favorite, which is…
Seth Rogen: Les Enfants.
Evan Goldberg: Is it okay to say? Les Enfants du Sang?
Seth Rogen: Les Enfants du Sang, The Children of the Blood?
Evan Goldberg: The Children of the Blood. So he kind of has his own little vampire-based side story that is bizarrely hilarious, and incredibly crazy, and really gives Cassidy and the actor Joe Gilgun a chance to like really shine.
Seth Rogen: Yes, – that was always one of my favorite parts from the comics, the Les Enfants du Sang and in the show, it’s just as crazy as you would hope.
Mike Rougeau/GameSpot: I was wondering if you could talk about keeping the show surprising, now that we’re three seasons in. Not just for comic book fans, but keeping it surprising for people who’ve been watching the show all along as well.
Seth Rogen: Yes, I mean what’s nice in a world that anything can happen is that you can make anything happen but the audience quickly gets used to that, and people can get used to anything. It’s pretty incredible. So yes, I mean a lot of thought goes into it, you know, in something that people know is surprising and shocking at times, and subversive, and all those things. How do you maintain that tone is something we talk a lot about and the truth is that you just think a lot as to what to do that would be surprising, and interesting, and unexpected, and how to take the audience on these twists and turns. I mean, I watch every episode and I know what’s going to happen and there are still some moments that completely shock me every time I watch the show, so they’re pretty good at that.
Sherin Nicole/Idobi Radio: Preacher, it’s really a road story in its inception, and you guys have handled that in the first three seasons by turning each pit stop into the setting for an entire season. How did you decide on that structure?
Seth Rogen: I mean, part of it honestly is logistical, like we do not have the ability to do every episode in a different city and do like – you know, it could just have it be like, “Oh, Episode 1, they’re in San Francisco. Episode 2, they’re in New York. Episode 3, they’re in Albuquerque.” The nature of how TV shows function sometimes, and this is one of them, are you just do it for financial reasons, unfortunately. You kind of need to revolve it around a few main locations. That being said, I think that this season especially is a good example of it. As it goes on, it really does not feel like you’re just stuck in Angelville the whole time. There are a lot of locations, there’s a lot of adventures. I think that we are trying to capture the energy of a road trip while not being able to afford, actually, bringing the show on a road trip.
Evan Goldberg: One of the most exciting, you’ll have to watch to find out, but one of the most exciting parts of the whole season is through a discussion with the production team, and Sam figured out a way to have an adventure that goes to Japan briefly, which is really taking a deficit and turning it into a positive. They figured out ways to just make it feel huge, even though we’ve got to make some concessions.
Ernie Estrella/Syfy Wire: Do you guys think a lot about how much to pack in each season as the characters go along versus having maybe one or two central stories? And to that, how many stories did you guys try to cram in this season?
Evan Goldberg: I mean, there’s a lot of stuff that’s been going on. For this show, we really think that the pace should get crazier as we go along. So this season, more happens faster, with more ramifications than the season before. We just want it to always ramp things up. There’s just so much story to tell in the universe that we have to play in, that we can introduce like tons of characters every season, and kill them more than you might think, and bring more bad guys and do whatever because it’s just a grand universe Garth created.
Seth Rogen: Yes, if anything, we wanted it to be one of those shows where more will happen on a weekly basis than you were expecting to happen, than less happening on a weekly basis than you were hoping, you know?
Evan Goldberg: Yes. It’s kind of a thing from Breaking Bad. It’s ruined most TV shows for me now where they just would introduce characters in Breaking Bad and I’d be like, “Oh, this is what season four is going to be about.” Then, two episodes later, they were all dead and something completely different was happening. It just blew me away every time. So, you know, we watch that show fanatically and we really studied it and that’s one of the reasons that I think Breaking Bad is so exhilarating. It’s like the whole things play out when you just think they’re going to take way longer, and that’s thrilling.
I want to thank Seth and Evan for taking the time to do this conference call
You can watch Preacher Sundays at 9 pm on AMC