For the series adaptation in 2008 of the famous comic strip, it is Stephen Dorff who embodies XIII in “XIII The conspiracy”. A role in which another actor, star of the 90s, was initially expected.
XIII: The Conspiracy adaptation of a cult comic book
Released in 2008, the mini-series XIII: The Conspiracy adapts for the first time on the screen the very famous comic series of Jean van Hamme and William Vance. Nineteen albums released between 1984 and 2007 which tell in thriller mode the adventures of an amnesiac and hunted man. In search of his identity, he will discover a tumultuous past and very special physical and combat abilities.
Inspired by the novel The memory in the skin by Robert Ludlum, adapted for the cinema by Doug Liman in 2002, the comic strip quickly deviates from it to create its own universe. The 2008 miniseries, consisting of two episodes of 90 minutes each and series prologue XIII: The Series, broadcast from 2011, deviates from comics and seeks an identity other than that created for the films with Jason Bourne. The main role, that of XIII, is held by Stephen Dorff. But other actors were approached to play him, including a star actor of the 90s.
Val Kilmer was deemed too old for the role of XIII
He is in the series, plays the detestable and terrible antagonist The Mongoose, and is Val Kilmer. And as reported by TVMagazine at the time, the actor Top Gun and of Heat had been approached, but ultimately deemed too old to play the main character.
He was not the only one to be approached for the role of XIII, since Hayden Christensen and Olivier Martinez were on the shortlist, the latter narrowly missed out on getting the role because of a too-marked French accent. Eventually, Stephen Dorff got the role, and Val Kilmer was that of his nemesis, The Mongoose. Two performances which did not really convince, and were notably singled out by USA Today.