Early buzz from AMC’s Preacher adaptation, which premiered at SXSW, has been overwhelmingly positive. But one little tidbit of information that got out amidst the hype was news of one of the most ludicrous cameo appearances we’ve heard about in a while.
And seriously, a warning: this is obviously a pretty big spoiler, so if you want to go into the show knowing nothing about it, turn around now.
The whole premise of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s comic series is that Jesse Custer (played by Dominic Cooper in the show) is possessed by a supernatural crossbreed between angel and demon named Genesis, granting him unnatural power. In the process of his possession, his church is blown up, killing his congregation in the process.
According to Entertainment Weekly though, there’s a slight twist to the comic’s opening—the supernatural force is apparently alien in origin, and Jesse isn’t its first target. It goes around the world possessing various preachers while they practice their faith, but their bodies can’t handle it... so they violently explode.
A montage of scenes depicts this in the pilot, including a news report starring none other than Tom Cruise, standing outside a Scientologist church... and yes, he explodes too. Speaking after the pilot premiered, producer Evan Goldberg said that the cameo was never questioned by AMC:
It’s amazing, no one said anything! We kept waiting for somebody to say ‘no’ and now it’s too late.
So yes, when you tune into Preacher May 22nd, you’ll apparently get a pretty great show—and some exploding Tom Cruise for good measure.