While everyone was busy fighting over the rights to Conan the Barbarian, another Robert E. Howard property has been quietly chugging along toward production. Variety reports that James Purefoy (Rome) has signed to star in the adaptation of Solomon Kane. The story focuses on a 16th century swordsman who has been cursed because of his bloody past. Kane vows to never fight again, until he is forced out of retirement to battle evil just one more time -- so I guess, in this cast, he really would be "too old for this s**t". The film underwent a personnel change last year when Michael J Basset (Wilderness) was hired to write and direct with no mention of the film's previous producers, Don Murphy and Gregg Hoffman. Kane will now be a joint production between Wandering Star and Davis Films (Brotherhood of The Wolf) and according to Variety, the producers are planning on a trilogy.

When Purefoy's casting was announced, Basset told ComingSoon.net, "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". Like so many other English actors, Purefoy started his career with The Royal Shakespeare Company, so the man knows his way around a period piece. His face might ring a bell as 'The Black Prince' in 2001's A Knight's Tale with Heath Ledger. Purefoy was most recently on HBO's Rome as the famous Marc Anthony, but this summer HBO announced that the show was on its final season. Once Purefoy finishes his commitments for two upcoming TV projects, he will have plenty of time to start work on Kane.