Amazon Studios’ first time at Comic-Con also doubled as the first TV panel of the convention this morning for their new series Hand Of God from creator Ben Watkins. The drama follows a town’s powerful judge, Pernell Harris (Ron Perlman), who begins hearing God’s voice in his head just after his son goes into a coma. The town he presides over, San Vincente, and his family life begin to unravel, and Pernell starts relying on the voices in his head to enact a vigilante justice in town. The pilot is currently available on Amazon Prime, with the series arriving in the fall.
Amazon dropped a new trailer for the series:
“Obviously there’s the church and a preacher in the show,” said Watkins. “Pernell might be born again and hearing voices from God, but that’s not what this is about to begin with. I was figuring out what it meant to have a cause in today’s world.”
“I wanted to explore how we deal with zealotry in a current-day character who is singularly obsessed with something. How does that change you? What power does that bring you?” continued Watkins.
“When I landed on grief, that was something that everyone could relate to; we can relate to a character going through that,” added the creator, who landed his first choice to direct the pilot, World War Z filmmaker Marc Forster, who makes his small-screen helming debut.
“Everyone in the town is doing well because of Pernell,” says Perlman. “He’s the light bulb that these moths have flown around. He’s only known winning. But when we meet him in the first shot of the pilot, he’s losing for the first time. He’s losing a big war from which he may not recover. So what happens in the course of this journey — him flailing at things — as he tries to win as his son is hanging from a thread.”
Perlman has nothing but backslaps for Amazon. “Get Amazon Prime,” he boomed in low bass at the onset of the panel,. “Even if you ain’t prime in my mind, you don’t wanna be.
“This was a dangerous idea we were pitching to companies who wanted to make waves but don’t. Amazon wanted to make waves and did. Look at the programming they have in the pipeline. It’s so bold and uncompromising. It’s pushing, prodding and unapologetic. I mean a show on transgenderism? And our show had God in the title. They got behind this in a way that’s like a dreamlike scenario. They bought into Ben’s vision and didn’t try to compromise. They helped us to double down continually,” said the actor, who also serves as an executive producer on the show.
Also in attendance were castmembers Garret Dillahunt, Andre Royo, Alona Tal, Julian Morris, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Elizabeth McLaughlin.