The versatile actor Andy Serkis is a busy. busy man these days. Fresh from his appearances in The Prestige, Stormbreaker and the upcoming Longford for director Tom Hooper, Serkis has now booked yet another new role -- the villain Capricorn in director Iain Softley's upcoming family fantasy pic for New Line Inkheart. The film is based on the first novel from fantasy author Cornelia Funke and tells the story of a father who, in order to entertain his daughter, brings characters from books to life. Writer David Lindsy-Abaire, who also scripted the recent Robots, is handling the adaptation duties.

Serkis is not the only one jumping aboard Inkheart though. Also joining him will be Helen Mirren, of John Boorman's Excalibur and the recent The Queen, Rafi Gavron of Anthony Minghella's upcoming Breaking and Entering and the lovely Sienna Guillory, fresh from her role as Arya in the fantasy pic Eragon -- for director (and ILM alum) Stefan Fangmeir.

These new actors make fine additions to Inkheart's growing cast which already includes star Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany and the terrific Jim Broadbent. With the addition of Serkis, Guillroy and an acting heavyweight like Helen Mirren to an already impressive roster of talent in front of and behind the camera who have experience with this kind of material, Inkheart may just find itself on my list of fantasy films to watch when it hits theaters. And who knows, if Inkheart turns out to actually be any good, maybe we can finally let Ian Softley off the hook for making us sit through Hackers.

Production on Inkheart is expected to begin next month in Italy. No word yet on a release date.