Paul Bettany to battle vampires in "Priest"

British actor Paul Bettany poses for photographers in front of newly liveried 'Da Vinci Code' train at the Waterloo Eurostar station in London in this file photo from May 16, 2006. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

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 centres 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)