Paris-based producer/distributor Samuel Hadida announced today that after an exhaustive search, the iconic hero of Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane stories has been found. English actor, James Purefoy, who recently top lined HBO’s blockbuster epic “Rome” as Mark Anthony, has been cast as the eponymous Puritan swordsman Solomon Kane in the Davis Films production which is due to start shooting later this year.
The first part in a trilogy series, Solomon Kane is an epic adventure adapted from the classic pulp stories by Robert E. Howard, creator of “Conan the Barbarian.” Solomon Kane (James Purefoy) is a 16th Century soldier who learns that his brutal and cruel actions have damned him. Determined to redeem himself, Kane swears to live a life of peace and goodness but is forced to fight once more when a dark power threatens the land.
One of Howard’s most iconic characters, Kane is a Puritan force of nature whose name strikes fear in the heart of his enemies. Michael J. Bassett (Deathwatch) will direct from his own script for producer Samuel Hadida (Silent Hill, Domino) and Wandering Star principal Paul Berrow in Prague.
Hadida called Purefoy “a powerful and commanding screen presence” in making the announcement and added “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.”
Screenwriter and director Michael J. Bassett adds: “Kane is a dark hero who has faced terrible things and turned to God for redemption and guidance. He sees himself as a righter-of-wrongs but is conflicted by a growing realization that he might be both a force for evil as well as good. James Purefoy understands this duality and I know he’ll bring a really powerful and intense heroism to the screen. He’s perfect for the role – and the fact that he’s devilishly handsome doesn’t hurt either.”
James Purefoy began his career with the world renowned Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford before going on to numerous acclaimed theatre, television and film roles. He came to wider attention playing the Black Prince in Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale opposite Heath Ledger and Paul Bettany and for the past two years he has portrayed the Emperor Mark Anthony in the BBC/HBO drama “Rome.” Purefoy is represented by CAA, Independent Talent Group, and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
In addition to Solomon Kane, Davis Films is currently working on Onimusha with director Christophe Gans, and also Killing Suki Flood, to be directed by Louis Couvelaire. Davis is in development on a Silent Hill sequel and an English language remake of Media Asia’s Exiled. The third installment in Constantin/Davis’ “Resident Evil” franchise, Resident Evil: Extinction opened as the number one film in the U.S. market this past weekend.
Other films recently produced under Samuel Hadida’s Davis Films banner include the Tony Scott actioner Domino, starring Keira Knightley, and Christophe Gans’ horror pic, Silent Hill, based on the Konami video game.
International sales for Solomon Kane are being handled by Los Angeles based Essential Entertainment.