First Official Priest Image

The first official image of Paul Bettany as Priest has hit the net. It originally was released through Entertainment Weekly, but then the resourceful fellows over at Bloody Disgusting got a hi-res copy of it to post on their site. I wonder what that freaky pale bald dude is pointing at? Whatever it is, it can’t be good from the look on Priest’s face. Priest is being converted to 3-D right now and is scheduled for release on May 13th, 2011. The movie is directed by Scott Charles Stewart (Legion) and “is set in a world ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampire and follows a warrior priest who turns against the church to track down a murderous band of vampires who have kidnapped his niece.” After the jump, you can see the whole picture and get more info on the movie and comic.

According to Wikipedia, “Priest (Hangul) was a manhwa (Korean comic) series created by Hyung Min-woo. It fuses the Western genre with supernatural horror, Gun fu, and dark fantasy themes and is notable for its unusual, angular art style. An interview with Hyung in Priest: Volume 3 states that the comic was inspired by the computer game Blood, which featured a similar horror-Western aesthetic and undead protagonist.

The graphic novel Priest tells the story of humanity’s battle against 12 fallen angels, led by the archangel Temozarela. Despite having fought for God in the battle against Lucifer, Temozarela and his cohorts shortly thereafter found that God had lost interest in them. Upon finding God has focused his attention on humans they decide to rebel against God in light of God’s favoritism towards the human race. They descend upon Earth to ‘play God’ among the humans who build a temple and statues for them. For their rebellion and acts against humanity, God destroyed their temple and their statues were cast underground, with their souls being trapped within the statues.

Centuries later, there lives a Holy Knight called Vascar De Gullion, a killer of heretics in the name of God. After his wife and children were burned alive, Vascar De Gullion ‘loses faith’ and wanders the earth in a ‘blood rage,’ leaving a wake of slaughter wherever he goes. His journey comes to an end when he discovers a hidden cave with the statues of the 12 fallen angels. Temozarela talks Vascar De Gullion into giving his body to him in the hopes of gaining revenge on God.

It is again centuries later that Vascar De Gullion is found alive and sentenced to be judged as a Heretic by Betheal, a powerful priest. Upon dealing with Vascar De Gullion, Betheal discovers from Vascar De Gullion that he is not who he is meant to be, but rather Temozarela. Temozarela plays with Betheal’s only pride and joy in life, a child he saved from a heretic sacrifice. The fallen angel manipulates the child into brutally slaughtering a young woman, taking her arms and heart, and setting up a blasphemous ritual room with her blood. Once Betheal sees what his child had done, he instead sees Temozarela laughing and ends up killing the child with his own hands. Betheal loses faith in God also and Temozarela takes Betheal under his wing as one of his disciples. Instead of turning in favor of Temozarela, Betheal acts as the Judas in this story, betraying Temozarela. Betheal devotes his life to study a way to trap Temozarela so that people can be free from him. This came in heretic invention of the Domas Porada. Betheal’s body is needed to be the key in keeping the lock on this ‘cage’ locked. With his soul trapped inside the Domas Porada, Betheal enters a new life altogether with the power he gained from turning away from God. He is a now a kind of demon, called Belial.

Ivan Isaacs, the hero, is called upon to solve the puzzle that the Domas Porada presents. Upon solving it Ivan is cast onto a cross after witnessing his only love, Gena, die in his arms. It is then that Belial takes Ivan, who in the madness of losing Gena denounces God. Ivan is reborn as an immortal serving Belial. Because of Gena’s death Ivan devotes himself for vengeance against Temozarela and his men.

The Priest story spans three distinct time periods; modern times, the Crusades and the Wild West, although it is primarily focused on the last period. Whilst featuring a large cast of heroes, anti-heroes and villains, a number of which enjoying in depth and detailed character development within the plot, the lead antagonist of Priest is Temozarela, whilst the main protagonist is Ivan Isaacs, a now immortal, 19th century priest who sold his soul to Belial, a former priest turned devil, in the pursuit of revenge and redemption after unwittingly unleashing Temozarela from the Domas Porada, a prison of sorts constructed by Belial (then Betheal) to imprison Temozarela.”


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