Screen Gems Picks A Padre

No Country For God's Man

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Move over Priest and Machine Gun Preacher, there’s a new man of God in town. Padre, a spec script by Mike Maples, has been picked up by Screen Gems in what Deadline is reporting is a six-figure deal. The screenplay is, reports the site, in the mould of No Country For Old Men and A History Of Violence.

Padre is billed as a “stark drama”, although it has elements of fuzzy, lo-fi thriller about it the synopsis is anything to go by. The titular priest has a dark past as a special-forces soldier, presumably one of those with a CV full of brutal killings and IEDs, but his efforts to shrug off the agonies of his experiences is hampered when his congregation is laid waste by a group of villainous lawmen.

He’s then tortured and dumped in the desert. From there it sounds like a pretty standard vengeance quest, with the man of the cloth doggedly pursuing the baddies who turned his friendly communion service into an unusually squiffy Jackson Pollock.

Screen Gems, a Sony offshoot behind the likes of Resident Evil: Extinction, Lakeview Terrace and Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist in recent years, has James Lopez overseeing the project. He’ll be working with producers Greg Champion and Mark Lawyer to raise financing, find a director and pick a man both godly and lethal to play the title role. Did someone say Father Steven Seagal?