Karl Urban, legend, has been cast as the villain in Priest, Scott Stewart’s vampire Western follow-up to his eagerly anticipated apocalyptic thriller, Legion.

Like Legion, Priest will star Paul Bettany, as a warrior priest living in a world dominated by bloodsucking fiends, who teams up with Cam Gigandet’s sheriff and Maggie Q’s priestess to find his niece, after she’s kidnapped by Urban’s band of vampires.

Urban’s character, a former priest turned vampire and general nutjob, is called Black Hat, after the grand old Western tradition that the good guys wear white hats, the bad guys black. We can’t decide whether that’s wonderfully knowing, or horribly on-the-nose, but we’ll give Stewart the benefit of the doubt, based entirely on that six minutes of Legion footage that did the rounds at Comic-Con.

Although his most famous roles, Eomer in (two-thirds of) the LOTR trilogy and Bones in Star Trek, are very much white hat jobbies, Urban has shown in the past, with turns in The Bourne Supremacy and The Chronicles Of Riddick, that he can sneer and snarl and elicit boos from the back row with the best of them, so we have no problems with this piece of casting. No problem at all.

Priest – based on a TokyoPop comic-book – will start shooting next week in LA.