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The on again off again film adaptation of Min-Yoo Hyung’s manga series Priest is on with Paul Bettany as the renegade Priest and Karl Urban newly added to the cast as the villain Black Hat. Urban was last seen as Bones in Star Trek.

The Screen Gems film has a post-apocalyptic setting. It features Bettany as a warrior Priest who is trying to save his kidnapped niece in a world where men and vampires collide. He’s aided in his quest by a vampire slayer Sheriff, Cam Gigandet and a warrior priestess, Maggie Q. Urban’s villainous character Black Hat is a priest turned Vampire who wants to be the god of the vampires.

The development of the film goes back a few years with Gerard Butler originally cast in the role of Priest.

This storyline has been written independently of the original TokyoPop “Priest” manga series which featured undead Priest Ivan Isaacs who started his life on the American frontier as a mortal man. I think Hyung’s storylines and array of villains are more interesting than what’s been described for this film incarnation.

The adaptation is by Cory Goodman. The film is produced by Michael De Luca and Star Road Entertainment’s Josh Donen and Mitchell Peek. Production begins next week in Los Angeles.

Priest will be directed by Scott Stewart who directed Bettany in his upcoming thriller Legion.

Anyone looking forward to Priest? Will Bettany’s Priest have a cross etched into his forehead as portrayed in the graphic novels or will producers shy away from that image?


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