Earlier in April, I participated in a roundtable interview extravaganza for Priest, the fantastical, post-apocalyptic man vs. vampire movie based on the graphic novel series by Min Woo Hyung. Sure, it was exciting to chat with Cam Gigandet (who had an abnormal-looking blonde dye job), Paul Bettany (whose incessant cursing made me giggle), Lily Collins (the girl from The Blind Side and the lead in Tarsem Singh’s upcoming live-action adaption of Snow White) and director Scott Charles Stewart, but Min Woo Hyung was my homeboy…because we are both Asian.
(Was that enough name-dropping for you?)
With his translators by his side, he apologized for his poor English — but he was as clear as he could be and awkwardly charming during the short interview. Nonetheless, he was genuinely excited about seeing his creation on the big screen:
When you write these graphic novels, are you always thinking in a cinematic scope?
When you saw the finished product, did it match what you were seeing in your head?
At first I was worried about the story being different — but now I was relieved!
So it’s a pretty faithful adaptation of your story?
(This is where he needs the help of his translator — who is also his sister. After some consulting she answers) There are some parts that he liked better in the movie and there are some parts that he liked better in the comic. He liked in his comic how he could be more philosophical and more detailed. It’s not easy to do that in a movie. It had to be short and to the point. But graphically, the movie was stunning.
Does the concept of religious and good vs. evil heavy a heavy influence on your life?
(Translator) Actually, he is not really religious, but he has many questions and curiosities — but it doesn’t influence his life.
Do you base your characters on real people in your life?
Sure! My friends, my father —
No! No! My father looks like a zombie! (laughs)
Now that you have seen Priest as a movie, are you going to continue working on it as a graphic novel? Or are you going to work on another graphic novel and hope that it becomes a movie?
(Translator) He is working on two different comics right now. At this point, he wants to finish those, but the goal is to finish the Priest series.
Hmmm. I wonder if those were Min Woo’s real answers or if the translator was just punking us.
Priest opens in theaters May 13.