In a move that would make Executive Editor Neil Miller’s mother upset, Gerard Butler is apparently no longer involved with the Screen Gems production of Priest – the adaptation of the comic of the same name. Now, Ms. Miller – who is a saint – won’t be able to ogle Mr. Butler on screen in Priestly vestments – the sexiest of all religious outfits.
According to Rope of Silicon, Paul Bettany is stepping in to take the lead role as a Priest who must go on a quest to battle vampires that have stolen his niece. And, yes, it’s set in the west. Vampires. Religion. Old West. Basically, it’s a comic and a story that was tailor-made for my taste, and the inclusion of Bettany only bolsters that.
The flick is being directed by Scott Stewart who worked with Bettany on the forthcoming Legion – a film about the archangel Michael who has to stop the Apocalypse after God loses faith in humanity.
Personally, this is some of the best news I’ve read in a while. The films have a shot at being the same middling crap that other comic adaptations are, but the epic nature of the religious story mixed with a lot of sci-fi is such a satisfying combination. It also gives me a reason to make hilariously inappropriate puns which I promise are on the way the further along this project gets.
Just to let it sink in: A priest battling vampires in the old west.
What do you think? Is Paul Bettany the right man for the job? Are you sad to see Gerard Butler off the project?