"Preacher" Casts "Agents of SHIELD" Veteran as Female Lead

Ruth Negga is the first actor cast in AMC's "Preacher" pilot, according to a Wednesday evening report from Deadline. She'll be playing the female lead role of Tulip, a main character from the comics and the ex-girlfriend of Jesse Custer, the story's titular preacher.

Tulip is described as, "a volatile, action-packed, sexified force of nature, a capable, unrepentant criminal with a love of fashion and ability to construct helicopter-downing bazookas out of coffee cans and corn shine who's not afraid to steal, kill or corn cob-stab her way out of a bad situation."

Negga is already familiar to fans of comic book-based TV shows -- she plays the key recurring role of Raina on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." "Preacher" is produced by Sony TV and AMC Studios, and as Deadline points out, this is Sony's second consecutive comic book-based project where a minority actress (Negga is Ethiopian-Irish) has been cast as a female lead character depicted as white in the source material -- following Susan Heyward, who plays Deena Pilgrim on the PlayStation Network's "Powers."

One of the most acclaimed comics of the past 20 years, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's "Preacher" ran for 66 issues from 1995 to 2000 as part of DC Comics' mature readers imprint, Vertigo. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg developed the TV adaptation and will direct the pilot, and "Breaking Bad" veteran Sam Catlin is set to serve as showrunner. "Preacher" received a pilot order from AMC in December. A rumor surfaced last week that Dominic Cooper is the frontrunner for the lead role of Jesse Custer, but no official announcement has been made.

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