Following the departure of Gerard Butler as the would-be Priest, Paul Bettany has joined forces with his Legion director Scott Stewart to bring the TokyoPop comic to life.

The Korean horror-western is hot on the heels of original baddie-slaying man-of-the-cloth graphic-novel adaptation Preacher, in production with Sam Mendes at the helm, although Priest may come to the screen first now that they have ordained their man, whereas Preacher has still yet to collar a star.

Priest follows a warrior clergyman who must face off with a band of vampires who have kidnapped his niece amid an almost apocalyptic war between the humans and their blood-sucking adversaries.

Bettany has already played a holy man, having starred as crazed Catholic monk Silas in The Da Vinci Code, and the president of Screen Gems (who are putting the film together), said his latest role, due early next year, only affirmed his suitability for the role: “I knew the moment I saw Stewart’s first cut of Legion that Bettany was Priest and so I mentioned it to him immediately.”

Indeed Legion too has a strong religious undertone, as it follows a gang of people who join forces with an archangel in order to stop the renegade angels who wish to obliterate mankind.

So, is Bettany just how you imagined your Priest? Or does he look a little too angelic to play a man taking on the world’s problems?

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