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Samuel L. Jackson has been cast as the villain in "The Secret Service," director Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of the Marvel/Icon miniseries by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, Variety reports. He joins Oscar winner Colin Firth and newcomer Taron Egerton in the Fox film.

The 2012-2013 comic follows super-spy Jack London (Firth), who takes his working-class nephew Gary (Egerton) under is wing to teach the tricks of the espionage trade even as he becomes entangled in a plot involving the abductions of sci-fi stars and the murder of an entire town. Jackson, naturally, will play the mastermind behind it all.

Vaughn had previously sought Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio as the film's antagonist. With that role now filled, the director can turn his attention to pinning down the female lead; Emma Watson ("Harry Potter") and Bella Heathcote ("Dark Shadows") are said to be contenders.

Jackson is of course a veteran of comic-book adaptations, having portrayed Nick Fury in five Marvel films (next year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" will be his sixth). He's also appeared in "The Shadow" and Spike Lee's upcoming remake of "Oldboy," and lent his voice to "Astro Boy."

Tags: dave gibbons, mark millar, matthew vaughn, samuel l jackson, the secret service

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