At today's SXSW screening of the "Preacher" pilot -- where it was also revealed that the series will premiere after "Fear the Walking Dead's" mid-season finale -- the audience was treated to a surprise scene that featured A-list actor Tom Cruise in a cameo role.
In the premiere (via Entertainment Weekly), an unknown force from outer space possess preachers around the world, and eventually makes them blow up, inside out. One of those preachers is Tom Cruise, who appears on a TV screen speaking on behalf of the Church of Scientology in front of a crowd.
Then, Cruise explodes, in a gratuitously violent fashion.
Considering the involvement of executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg ("This Is The End"), it's no surprise that the series features a dark and violent sense of humour -- true to the comics -- but it looks like their star power also gave the series the opportunity to exploit (and explode) a major celebrity who seldom makes TV appearances.
The first reactions to the pilot are already flooding Twitter, with generally positive notes, especially from readers of the original comic series:
PREACHER is one of the most promising pilots in recent memory, blending humor, gore & philosophy. #SXSW— Colo-Ren (@WordsByCole) March 14, 2016
Starring Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy, Ruth Negga as Tulip, Lucy Griffiths as Emily, W. Earl Brown as Sherriff Root, Anatol Yusef as DeBlanc, Tom Brooke as Fiore, Derek Wilson as Donnie Schenck and Ian Colletti as Eugene/Arseface, "Preacher" debuts Sunday, May 22 at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.