Gerard Butler and Steven Strait are set to take a bite out of Screen Gems' postapocalyptic vampire Western "Priest." The two are in negotiations to star, while Andrew Douglas has signed on to direct.
Based on a comic book by Min-Woo Hyung, "Priest" centers on a warrior priest (Butler) who disobeys church law by teaming with a young sheriff (Strait) and a priestess to track down a band of renegade vampires who have kidnapped the priest's niece. Cory Goodman adapted the material for the big screen.
Michael De Luca, Josh Donen, Sam Raimi and Mitchell Peck are producing.
Sony Pictures will distribute the film, which is scheduled to start production Oct. 1 in Mexico.
The move raises eyebrows as the studio now has two similar high-profile projects under its corporate umbrella. Columbia Pictures recently greenlighted the comic book-based vampire pic "30 Days of Night," which Raimi also is producing. Shooting on the Josh Hartnett starrer is set to begin in August in New Zealand (HR 6/16).
Eric Paquette is overseeing "Priest" for Screen Gems topper Clint Culpepper.
Butler, who toplined "The Phantom of the Opera" and next stars in Warner Bros. Pictures' "300," recently wrapped "Butterfly on a Wheel." He is repped by CAA and manager Alan Siegel.
Strait, who recently wrapped Screen Gems' horror thriller "The Covenant," is filming Roland Emmerich's "10,000 B.C." He is repped by CAA.
Douglas' credits include 2005's "The Amityville Horror." He is repped by WMA, Anonymous Content, manager Simon Crocker in the U.K. and attorney Craig Jacobson.
Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit write for The Hollywood Reporter.
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