Priest Trailer Posted: Here’s Hoping It’s Better Than Legion
Paul Bettany as the lead in a religiously-infused horror epic. Didn’t go over so well with Legion. But maybe his newest movie, Priest, can succeed where his last failed. Check out the trailer and the reasons why I have faith (zing!) after the jump.
Paul Bettany is the lead in this action-horror movie set in a world where humans have been fighting a war with vampires for centuries, and the Church has emerged as the governing institution and protector of the people. Bettany’s niece has been kidnapped and his family members killed in a vampire attack, but the Church covers it up. When he asks for permission to investigate, the Church denies the request, and so he goes rogue to rescue his niece. The influences range from Blade Runner to Judge Dredd to The Searchers.
Now, before anyone goes and gives up on this movie, I’d like to explain why I am still excited. First, Paul Bettany is great, and despite having been cast in some clunkers, I enjoy his performances and I think he can be a compelling hero. Second, Christopher Plummer as Monsignor Orelas, the corrupt Church official, promises to bring subtlety and refinement to the role. I saw Christopher Plummer as the lead in King Lear, and he was fantastic, so I can definitely see him as again playing a powerful leader forcing his authority when reason seems to contradict it. Third, Karl Urban as Black Hat, the leader of the vampires, looking quite similar to a certain gunslinger Chris continues to post about, seems poised to deliver a deliciously charismatic villain. I mean, come on – he’s doing the “madman orchestrating the chaos” hand motions in the trailer!
As for the text from the trailer describing this movie as “the acclaimed graphic novel [come] to life,” that’s not quite accurate. Yes, there was a Korean comic titled Priest (Manwha), whose main character was a gun-toting priest. But that, basically, is where the similarities end. The comic was a “weird west” comic, set in the American Wild West, with lots of demonic and religious themes a la Hellboy, and the main character was an undead priest who sold half of his soul to one Fallen angel so as to fight another Fallen angel and his 11 priest henchmen. Basically, this movie has just as much to do with its source material as the film version of Wanted did with the original Mark Millar graphic novel. Is this a case of a movie studio deciding to cash in on the comic adaptation craze by claiming graphic novel source material and then completely ditching said source material? Almost certainly. However, as bad as the Wanted film was as an adaptation, I still really enjoyed the movie. And I’m hoping the same will be the case for Priest.
The movie is currently slated for a May 13, 2011 release, but that date has been shifted 3 times already, so don’t go making any plans for opening night.