Purefoy takes stab at hero role


James Purefoy has been cast as puritan swordsman Solomon Kane in a movie of the same name to be made from the stories of Robert Howard.

Purefoy, who recently headlined HBO's "Rome" as Emperor Mark Antony, has been cast in the Davis Films production, which is scheduled to start shooting this year.

Paris-based producer and distributor Samuel Hadida said Monday that signing Purefoy came after "an exhaustive search" for the iconic hero of Howard's classic comic book character. Howard also created Conan the Barbarian.

Kane is a 16th century soldier who learns that his cruel actions have damned him but is determined to redeem himself by living peaceably. But he finds himself dragged out of retirement for a fight against evil.

The film is the first in a planned series of three movies. Michael Bassett ("Deathwatch") will direct from his own script, with Hadida and Wandering Star principal Paul Berrow in Prague producing.

"(James) Purefoy's ability to embody Kane's complex heroism, struggles and failings as he wages a mortal battle made him the perfect modern hero in this epic fantasy," Hadida said.

Purefoy is repped by CAA, Independent Talent Group and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Davis Films also is working on "Onimusha" with director Christophe Gans and "Killing Suki Flood," to be directed by Louis Couvelaire.

Run by French siblings Samuel and Victor Hadida, Davis Films is one of France's leading production and distribution labels.

International sales for "Kane" are being handled by Los Angeles-based Essential Entertainment.