Casting: Karl Urban And Maggie Q In Priest; Tommy Lee Jones And Samuel L. Jackson In Cormac McCarthy Adaptation

Before you rush out to Inglourious Basterds and/or Avatar footage, chew on a couple of quick casting bites for you at the end of this Friday.

First, Priest, the film by Scott Stewart starring Paul Bettany, has a villain, Karl Urban, and a new heroine, Maggie Q. The film follows Stewart and Bettany's pairing on Legion (but is not related) and is scripted by Cory Goodman based on the TokyoPop comic. According to THR, Bettany is "a warrior priest and vampire fighter who teams with a sheriff (Cam Gigandet) and warrior priestess (Maggie Q) to track down a murderous band of vampires who have kidnapped his niece." Urban is Black Hat, the vampire leader and a himself a former priest. After seeing footage from Stewart's Legion I'm curious about this effort. Nice to see Screen Gems doing some potentially fun genre stuff that pushes beyond another Resident Evil regurgitation.

After the break, Tommy Lee Jones does another Cormac McCarthy adaptation, this time with Samuel L. Jackson. No, it's not Blood Meridian.

Variety reports that Jones and Jackson will share the spotlight in The Sunset Limited, an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy play of the same name. The good news: Jones is directing. I have nothing but praise for his previous feature as director, The Thre Burials of Melquiades Estrada, and I'm thrilled to see him directing again. Even better, McCarthy has penned the screenplay himself.

According to the trade, "Jackson plays a man who saves another man (Jones) from throwing himself in front of a Harlem subway train. The act begins an exchange of ideologies as the two men from different backgrounds debate the worth of their lives." The synopsis sounds a bit suspect, especially when you consider that the two men are simply referred to as 'Black' and 'White', and that White is a despairing professor while Black is a hopeful ex-con. But the NYT calls it "a poem in celebration of death," and that's intriguing as hell. HBO is bankrolling; whether this will air on cable or hit theatres is unclear.