When faced with Paul Bettany, I had but one question: "You've been doing a lot of these religious themed movies -- " "You mean two?"

"In media and Internet terms, I think that equals 200," I teased. He laughed. "Are there some personal demons you're trying to work out with the church?"

"No. No, I have no personal demons -- well, I have personal demons but they're not with the church. There happen to be a lot of these sorts of movies around, you know? Religiously themed movies, and vampire movies are often religious themed. Although I think vampirism is an awesome alternative to Christianity as a way to survive death!" (Afterwards, I realized it's four -- The DaVinci Code, Legion, Creation, and Priest. Draw your own conclusions!)

Priest is the first Tokyo Pop book to be made into a movie, which is something I'm embarrassed to say I didn't realize until the panel itself. Min-Woo Hyung visited the set, loved it, and gave it his blessing. He was even inspired enough to write a prequel comic. (Which I received and is currently being mangled in my backpack. Sorry!) The Western elements have been played down in favor of sci-fi, and Priest takes place about 20 years after the events of Min-Woo's final book. The war between the vampires and priests have ended, the priests (and priestesses) are now akin to Vietnam veterans who are unwanted and unloved.


The first footage of Priest is difficult to describe. Sizzle reels always are -- lots of fighting, lots of vampires snarling (look elsewhere for sexy vampires, these resemble the cave dwellers of The Descent), lots of slow motion. The sci-fi world is a grittier version of Underworld. Lots of metal, swirling trenchcoats, but it's livened up with some desert landscapes. The 3D (another post-conversion, but they promise they're taking their time) looked pretty good, but typical ... crucifixes flying out at the screen, 3D mountains, that sort of thing. I'd love Priest to be good, but I'm going to need a little more to go on.

But hey, Twilight ladies -- if you want to see Cam Gigandet as a boy sheriff who becomes a man, this will be the movie for you.