One of Seth Rogen's favorite things about working with AMC on Preacher is the ability to get away with murder. According to the executive producer, writer and showrunner, the only thing they can't do is say "fuck."
"I'm honestly shocked at the amount of stuff that we get away with," Rogen said during a press conference at San Diego Comic-Con. "The only thing we can't do is say 'fuck.' Literally. Other than that, we can say or do anything we want. It's been surprising how free the creative process has been."
For Rogen, someone who's used to dealing with the MPAA — the organization in charge of hanging out ratings to films and one that's become notorious for being extra strict with what can and can't be included — working on television has been a bit of a dream.
"If the president's not talking about it, then it's not a controversy"
Rogen said the biggest difference is the level of rationality he's experienced with AMC executives that he never ran into while working within the film industry. When certain scenes are deemed controversial or overly violent for no reason, conversations are had between Rogen and AMC executives about necessary cuts.
"At AMC, we have super rational conversations," Rogen said. "If the scene is important to the growth and development of a character, than they're for it. If the scene feels out of place, they scrap it."
Rogen and Goldberg both call the experience they've garnered from working on the show extremely educational, and even though Rogen spent some time working on television before — one of his biggest breaks was on Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks in 1999 — he never got to see how the other side works. The biggest difference they've learned to work with is the lack of time they're given when it comes to actually working on each episode.
"The fight scene on the plane from the first episode we did in one day and that would normally take a week on a film," Goldberg said. "We wanted to capture the tone of the comic and that meant being as detailed as possible with little to no time to do it."
When it comes to figuring out what works and what doesn't in a short amount of time, Rogen and Goldberg said they don't have time to worry about if a scene is controversial or not. Rogen also joked that considering his recent past and the massive hacks at Sony that came as a result of his satirical film about North Korea, The Interview, controversy has a whole new meaning.
"I don't think this show will ever do anything that is actually controversial," Rogen said. "If the president's not talking about it, then it's not a controversy."
As they head into the final half of their first season, Rogen and Goldberg couldn't talk about whether there was anything fans would deem controversial coming up or what people could expect from a second season. Rogen said that while they would be diverting from the comic slightly, like they already have, he still recommends that fans of the show who haven't read the comics dive into the series.
"I'm kind of torn between recommending people read the comic and staying away from it because we can't compete," Rogen joked. "But there's a reason we wanted to adapt this comic and people should discover that reason."