Bettany Replaces Butler in Comic Adaptation ‘Priest’

At one point the Screen Gems western-horror Priest was expected to star Gerard Butler and Steven Strait, but the comic based film has dropped those two names and has now attached Paul Bettany to star as a warrior priest who disobeys church law by teaming with a young sheriff and a priestess to track down a band of renegade vampires who have kidnapped the priest’s niece.

Bettany’s Legion director, Scott Stewart, is aboard to helm the pic based on the TokyoPop comic book penned by Cory Goodman (The Brood).

Screen Gems is also set to release Legion on January 22, 2010 and Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper told The Hollywood Reporter, “I knew the moment I saw Stewart’s first cut of Legion that Bettany was Priest and so I mentioned it to him immediately.”

In Legion Bettany stars as the archangel Michael, the only one standing between mankind and an apocalypse, after God loses faith in humanity. Man’s lone hope rests with a group of strangers who must deliver a baby they realize is Christ in his second coming. That film also stars Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Tenney, Charles S. Dutton, Lucas Black, Kate Walsh, Kevin Durand and Willa Holland.

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