Paul Bettany obviously has a thing for the sacrilegious. Fresh off playing the Archangel Michael in Legion, Bettany is reteaming with director Scott Stewart for Priest, ScreenGems' adaptation of Hyung Min-woo's popular manga series.

Bettany will play Ivan Isaacs, the warrior priest who turns his back on the Church to rescue his niece from a pack of vampires. The role once belonged to Gerard Butler, until the project fell apart sometime in 2006. ScreenGems revived the project last December with Stewart, keeping Cory Goodman's screenplay.

The casting came about not out of Bettany and Stewart's desire to reunite for religion, but due to ScreenGems president Clint Culpepper, who apparently thought Isaacs needed to be played by a former albino monk: "I knew the moment I saw Stewart's first cut of Legion that Bettany was Priest and so I mentioned it to him immediately."

Whether this Priest will make it any further into production than Andrew Douglas and Gerard Butler's will remain to be seen -- but since everyone wants their own religious pseudo-western, I bet the second time will be the charm. I still wish Butler's version would have taken off, but Bettany is probably a better physical choice for the role. He bears an uncanny resemblance to the art, anyway. I'm not a huge fan of the series, so hopefully some manga experts can weigh in with what they think of the casting.
categories Movies, Cinematical