Simon Baker nabs 'Killer' role

Actor cast in adaptation of Jim Thompson novel

Simon Baker, star of CBS hit "The Mentalist," is playing an attorney on the trail of a murderer in "The Killer Inside Me," Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of the Jim Thompson noir classic that stars Casey Affleck.

The story centers on a West Texas sheriff (Affleck) and his downward spiral from a boring small-town cop into a ruthless, sociopathic murderer. The cast also includes Jessica Alba as a prostitute and Kate Hudson as the sheriff's schoolteacher girlfriend.

Filming begins this week in New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Baker plays a county attorney looking to expose the sheriff as the killer.

MuseFilm's Chris Hanley, Cyclone Prods.' Robert Weinbach, Revolution Films' Andrew Eaton and Bradford Schlei are producing the latest adaptation, written by Weinbach and John Curran.

Oklahoma-based Idion Entertainment Group is financing, as are Barbarian Films and OceaniaMedia Finance.

"Mentalist" is the breakout hit of the 2008-09 television season. The Australian actor is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. He most recently appeared in Focus Features' "Something New."