Paul Bettany to battle vampires in "Priest"

Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:47am EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Paul Bettany, seen recently in "Inkheart," is in negotiations to star in "Priest," a horror Western.

An adaptation of a TokyoPop comic book, "Priest" is set in a world ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampire. It follows a warrior priest (Bettany) who turns against the church to track down a murderous band of vampires who have kidnapped his niece. Cory Goodman ("The Brood") wrote the screenplay.

The Screen Gems project would reunite Bettany with director Scott Stewart, for whom he just finished filming "Legion," a supernatural thriller scheduled for release next year. That film centers on a group of misfits and an archangel who try to prevent humanity from being wiped out by angels.

Bettany stars opposite Emily Blunt in "The Young Victoria," which opened this month in the U.K. The period piece focuses on the early years of Queen Victoria's reign.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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