Taiwanese-Canadian actor Godfrey Gao has been cast as 800-year-old warlock Magnus Bane in the feature adaptation of The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, produced by Constantin Film and Unique Pictures.

Cassandra Clare, author of the best-selling series of young adult fantasy novels, announced the casting via a tweet.

The film, to be directed by Harald Zwart (The Karate Kid), starts shooting on August 20 in Toronto. Robert Kulzer and Don Carmody are producing, with Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne of Unique Pictures and Martin Moszkowicz of Constantin executive producing.   

Screen Gems has US rights to the film with Mister Smith Entertainment handling international sales for Constantin. Sony Pictures has acquired rights to the Germany-Canada co-production in many territories.

Five installments of Clare’s book series have so far been published, with one on the way.  In the first installment, City Of Bones, a fifteen-year-old New Yorker, to be played by Lily Collins, discovers she is descended from a secret cadre of half-angel warriors, locked in an ancient battle to protect the world from demons.

Gao is currently in Shanghai shooting Leste Chen’s 101 Proposals opposite Lin Chiling and Huang Bo for Shanghai Media Group. The film is scheduled for release on Valentines’ Day 2013. He also stars in Chinese TV series S.O.P Queen which has scored the largest primetime ratings for Hunan Television for 2012.