Cam Gigandet takes lead in 'Priest'

Joins Paul Bettany in adaptation of TokyoPop comic book

Cam Gigandet will star opposite Paul Bettany in "Priest," a horror Western that Scott Stewart is directing for Screen Gems.

Adapted by Cory Goodman from a TokyoPop comic book, "Priest" is set in a world ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires and follows a warrior priest (Bettany) who turns against the church to track down a murderous band of vampires who have kidnapped his niece.

Gigandet plays a young wasteland sheriff who is part vampire. He partners with Bettany to save the girl he loves, the niece. That latter part has yet to be cast.

Michael De Luca and Stars Road Entertainment's Josh Donen are producing along with Mitchell Peck.

Culpepper and senior vp production Eric Paquette are overseeing the project.

The "Priest" deal follows on the heels of Gigandet joining the cast of Screen Gems' "Easy A," a comedic re-imagining of "The Scarlet Letter," starring Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes. Gigandet is playing a third-time senior in high school who still hasn't graduated.

Gigandet, repped by WME Entertainment, is filming Screen Gems' thriller "The Roommate" with Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly. The actor is coming off of winning an MTV Movie Award for best fight, awarded for his work in "Twilight." Gigandet won the award the previous year for "Never Back Down," making him the only actor to win it in back-to-back years.