What follows is a transcript from a pre-production meeting between the director of Priest, Scott Stewart, and the movie’s producers:
SCOTT STEWART (SS): …so Priest, that’s what he goes by. No known name, just Priest. All capitalized and everything. Pretty slick, huh? So Priest, he’s fought in a war with the vampires before. And this war was epic, like all types of clergy versus this horde of blood-sucking vampires.
PRODUCER #1 (P1): Wait, what are we talking, vampires? Vampires like what? What do they look like?
SS: Ever seen any of the Resident Evil movies?
SS: The Lickers… you know those hideous creatures with the long tongues?
SS: Very similar to that, no eyes, they crawl around on all fours, so white they’re almost translucent because of their aversion to the sun. Really ugly things. Gruesome. Disgusting. Not very original looking, but—
P1: Cost effective.
SS: Precisely. So this war has long since ended and the vampires are thought to be long gone. The clergy now reside in this place called Cathedral City—
PRODUCER #2 (P2): Wait, what are we talking here? Cathedral City? What’s that like?
SS: Ever seen Blade Runner?
SS: Well, it’s kind of like that.
SS: So one day, the vampires come back. They attack this family living out in the Wasteland.
PRODUCER #3: The Wasteland?
SS: Ever seen Mad Max? The Book of Eli?
P3: Oh. Okay. Post-apocalyptic. Desert land, right?
P3: I like it. Cost effective.
SS: Precisely. So the vampires attack this family and kidnap this girl, Lucy, who happens to be Priest’s niece… or maybe she’s even more than that. Word gets to Priest in Cathedral City and he loses his shit. You see there’s this oath that the clergy live by: “To go against the Church is to go against God.” Really heavy stuff. The head of the clergy, they forbid Priest to do anything. They think all the vampires are gone for good.
P1: But they’re not.
SS: Right. And Priest, he’s gonna try to rescue Lucy no matter what. Even if it means breaking his oath.
P2: Fucking bad-ass!
SS: Yeah. And when he does… check this out! So Priest is sitting with one of the clergymen, one of his superiors, you know? The clergyman knows Priest is pretty much set on going against the orders of the clergy. Heavily armed officers have him surrounded. The clergyman makes one last effort, reminds Priest one more time of the oath he has taken. He says: “To go against the Church is to go against God.” Then Priest, all serious, says, “Then I go against God,” and immediately takes out all the officers in like thirty seconds.
P1: Oh, shit! Nice!
SS: Right? This is one holy man you don’t want to mess with. So Priest rides out of Cathedral City on this wicked, futuristic-looking motor bike that looks like it’s powered by a fucking jet engine and he never looks back.
P3: Then what?
SS: While following the trail of the vampires, he meets up with this futuristic cowboy-looking guy named Hicks. He’s in love with Lucy or something and wants to help Priest track her down. Together, they follow the trail to this place called Nightshade where vampires have been known to hide out. Here’s where they get to battle their first group of vampires in a sweet action scene.
P2: Excellent. What’s it gonna be like?
SS: You see any of the latest Resident Evil movies?
SS: Like that. Except with vampires. You know, that speed up, slow down, speed back up type of fighting?
P3: Oh yeah, Zach Snyder style. That stuff’s legit.
SS: Yeah, nobody ever grows tired of that. It’s just too cool looking! So Priest takes out the vampires like it’s nothing and Hicks is understandably impressed. He says to Priest, he says, “Killing. It comes easy to you.” Then Priest says, all serious ‘n shit: “It just comes. Easy’s got nothing to do with it.”
P1: Fucking bad-ass!
SS: Totally. Anyway, Priest and Hicks keep following the trail and they come to the old vampire hive where more crazy shit goes down. Meanwhile, this other group of priests has been sent by the clergy to track down Priest for having broken his oath. One is this smoking hot Priestess who ends up fighting along Priest’s side and joins the hunt. They have this sweet fight with a humongous vampire beast from the hive. Together, they totally rip the monster a new one. But just when you think the fight is over, the thing pops back up again, then BLAM! Hicks lays it out with one final shot. The camera zooms in on him, smoking gun and all and he says, all badass-like: “Point A, me point fucking B.”
P3: What the heck does that mean?
SS: I don’t know, but he just took down a gigantic vampire monster, so who cares? Are you gonna argue with him?
P3: Hell no.
SS: Damn straight. So eventually Priest, Hicks, and Priestess catch up with the vampires who have taken Lucy. They find out the ringleader is this human/vampire hybrid guy who wears a black cowboy hat. Think Eastwood, the Man With No Name. We call him Black Hat. He’s played by Karl Urban. Total badass.
P1: Oh yeah. That dude is pretty sick.
SS: So Black Hat has a really big beef with the clergy and is heading back to Cathedral City on a train full of vampires, ready to unleash Hell.
P2: Is Priest able to stop him?
SS: He’s got his work cut out for him, I can tell you that much.
P1: Who you got for Priest? I mean, this guy’s gotta be a serious badass right? All brooding, dark, doesn’t take shit from nobody… who we got?
SS: Paul Bettany.
P1: Paul Bettany? The skinny, red-haired English dude? He’s our Priest?
SS: You ever see Legion?
P1: Didn’t you direct that one too?
SS: Sure did. Wasn’t Paul Bettany a badass?
P1: I never saw it. Looked too shitty.