Director Scott Stewart and Paul Bettany Discuss Priest
08.28.10 by BJSprecher
Director Scott Stewart's (Legion) latest movie, Priest, is a hard movie to define. Loosely based on the Korean manhwa (comic book) of the same name by Min-Woo Hyung, Priest is an alternate-reality, post-apocalyptic vampire movie with elements of superhero and horror movies mixed together with a dash of classic Westerns. As if that mixture isn’t already enough to digest, Stewart recently revealed to MTV that Star Wars and the Vietnam War are also influences on the movie.
The priests of our story—this is an alternate world—are like Jedi knights. They essentially have these supernatural abilities to fight vampires and they saved humanity before the movie even begins. Now, a generation later, the society has moved on from war, and the priests are like pariahs. They're almost like Vietnam vets—where they've been cast aside by society and are now kind of reviled and feared.
The movie centers a warrior priest (played by Paul Bettany) who disobeys church law to track down a coven of rogue vampires who have kidnapped his niece. In the same interview with MTV, Bettany offered up his take on the character he plays, and the qualities of the character that attracted him to the role, which very much echoes Stewart’s Vietnam veteran comparison.
What I found appealing was the idea of this man who makes a decision to go off and be trained and go to war, and because of everything he learns he renders himself unfit for any sort of normal life, and is expected to, sort of, integrate himself back into normal society, which he finds, clearly, very difficult. And then this opportunity arises for him to do what he is best at. It's hard if you're really good at something—and that happens to be murder—it's hard not to want to practice it.
was initially scheduled to be released in October, but it has been pushed back to May 2011 to accomodate 3-D conversion. Cam Gigandet
, Karl Urban
, Stephen Moyer
, and Maggie Q