Chris Hardwick, far left, moderates the panel for ‘Preacher’
Walk around Comic-Con, and it’s the branded bags of freebies that begin to stand out — after all the elaborate cosplayers, of course.
And whether you’ve watched AMC’s “Preacher” or not, you know just about everything about the series in that the promotional swag passed around Hall H was a paper mask that would let fans replicate the sphincter-as-mouth affliction featured during the show’s first season with a character known only as Arseface (Ian Colletti).
The second season of the series is in progress, and panel moderator Chris Hardwick asked Seth Rogen — who adapted the 1995 comic for AMC with partner Evan Goldberg — if he ever imagined a show as proudly violent and inappropriate as “Preacher” would ever make it on the air.
“There were no shows that would let you do this kind of thing,” Rogen said. “Luckily people’s sensibilities have declined in recent years. . . we live in an age of decline and are able to contribute to that decline,” he added with a laugh.
“We blew up Tom Cruise in the pilot,” he later said incredulously, citing all the support the show has received from the network for all its odd flourishes. (And no, Cruise wasn’t a fan of that scene, according to Rogen.)
Oscar nominee Ruth Negga, who portrays Tulip on the show, lent an extra layer of gravitas to the panel as she spoke about her character and gender fluidity. But for a show that specializes in outrageousness, the tone of the panel was predictably similar.
After blowing up the entire town where the first season was set, the show has since moved to New Orleans, a shift reflected in a rollicking Crescent City brass band that opened the panel. There was also a tease of the next episode that involved the sadistic Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) training to become part of an organization called the Grail. Suffice to say, many scenes ended with harsh, played-for-laughs violence, in one instance at the hands of a brutally swung golf club. “He’s a very therapeutic character to play,” Torrens said.
Naturally, the clip came with a warning, delivered by Hardwick, that it was not suitable for all audiences. “No, it’s really not,” Rogen sheepishly admitted.
“Toughen up,” Joseph Gilgun, who plays vampire Cassidy, warned the crowd before the clip. “You’re going to ruin 2017, sensitive people. “
“It sounds so much better with your accent,” Hardwick joked, adding that he could never get away with saying such a thing.
They also shared a new trailer previewing the rest of the upcoming season.
Rogen was later asked during the audience Q&A if he would ever appear on the series, but he was cagey about the possibility — at first. “I don’t want to say it, but I’m going to replace Dominic with myself. The show is called ‘Rabbi’ now.”
The "Star Wars: Join the Resistance — Book 1" cover At the "Twin Peaks" panel at SDCC. Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), his dog, and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) at the"’Game of Thrones" panel at Comic-Con Friday.