Shadowhunters Recruits Reign and Glee Grads to Play Valentine and Magnus

Shadowhunters Cast Magnus Valentine

To quote the late*, great Rafiki: “The king has returned.”

Alan Van Sprang, recently seen as Reign‘s ruthless — and potentially syphilitic — King Henry, will play the villainous Valentine in ABC Family’s Shadowhunters, the network announced Friday.

Here’s Valentine’s official description, courtesy of ABC Family:

Brilliant, cunning, and dangerously handsome, Valentine is a mysterious Shadowhunter wielding immense power. His stoic, charming, and confident presence allows him control over his many followers. To seek out what he wants, Valentine executes anyone in his way, never thinking twice about it.

Additionally, former Glee star Harry Shum, Jr. has been tapped to play Magnus Bane, the high warlock of Brooklyn. Here’s his official description:

With eccentric style, he’s fierce, cunning and keeps his cards close to his chest. Though he looks like he’s in his 20s, he’s hundreds of years old – which makes him wiser and wary of others.

In case you’re not up to speed, Shadowhunters — the series adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments book series — follows a young woman named Clary Fray who discovers on her 18th birthday that she’s a Shadowhunter, a human-angel hybrid destined to hunt and kill demons.

These new actors joins previously announced cast members Dominic Sherwood (Jace), Katherine McNamara (Clary), Alberto Rosende (Simon), Emeraude Toubia (Isabelle), Isaiah Mustafa (Luke) and Matthew Daddario (Alec).

Your thoughts on their casting? Drop ’em in the comments below.

* I’m merely speculating that Rafiki is dead, but he was already super old in The Lion King, which came out more than 20 years ago. If I have time, I’ll look into it.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sara says:

    Great choice he is a great actor..lets see if he can rock the white hair lol
    Can’t wait for Magnus casting.
    Hope is accurate.

  2. Becky says:

    Yes! This is so perfect. He was a great fatherly villian on Reign.

  3. M says:

    Well done!

  4. Amy says:

    Well, Rafiki was Robert Guillaume, who is dead… so logic states, yes, Rafiki is dead.

    • Andy Swift says:

      Thank you for being the first person to comment on that, and for your thorough research. Please join our staff.

      • Jenn says:

        Robert Gulliaume IS NOT DEAD!! anyone with google and Wikipedia can look this up and see he is perfectly alive! He’s 87 but very much still here, don’t know where Amy got here info from!

        • Jillian says:

          Yeah, um…Robert Guillaume is still alive, guys.

          • rian says:

            Leaving aside this Rafiki-stuff that took me a while to comprehend – I totally love how you cover the casting-process for this show!
            Hope you will keep at it and start recapping the show as soon as it airs.
            D’you think they make the Valentine actor as gleaming white-blond as he is in the books? Judging by the photo, I think that would look really weird on this dude.

  5. I remember him from Earth: Final Conflict

  6. uk-usa-tvaddict says:

    Is Magnus Bane going to be gay/bi in this show? I liked the fact that the film showed gay men as powerful, complex and heroic.

    • Jules says:

      Well if they stick to the book, he should be bi (also, Alec was gay).
      I do hope they show him like that, I loved Magnus and his relationships (both romantic and friendly).

      • uk-usa-tvaddict says:

        I am not sure if this actor will want to play that, there aren’t many interesting roles for Asian actors as it is and I can’t think of any that are gay/bi. He might ‘flirt’ with guys but I don’t think he will be seen actually doing anything more. Which will be a shame.

        I have been really disappointed in the portrayal of Ser Loras Tyrell from Game of Thrones. From what I understand in the books the character is a fierce and skilled knight but in the show he has lately been shown as having sex with men – end of character. I don’t understand why gay is being equated to weak, I would hope that in an urban fantasy setting that we could break with convention in lots of ways. So I would be surprised if the network will show this aspect of his character.

        • eva says:

          Magnus/Alec is one of the main relationships in the story and a fan-favourite, I can’t really see how they could skip it in the show. So, if the actor had anything agains playing that, he would never even be considered for the role.

        • Álvaro says:

          That makes no sense, it’s true there aren’t many gay/bi asian roles (and all of them seems to be played by Rex Lee, LOL), but that’s why any smart actor should love to play this one.

          Totally agree whit the part about Loras Tyrell.

        • Magnus is queer in the books. He was queer in the movie. Shum must have known that before he was cast, so I don’t see him having a problem with that. Let’s just see if he can pull Magnus as sexy as Godfrey Gao!

          • Jillian says:

            Harry Shum Jr. was on Glee, I hardly think he’ll have a problem with playing bi. And erasing that character’s sexuality would be a reaaaaaaally not great thing for the show to do.

            I love this casting.

        • cadycakes says:

          He has to know what he’s getting into for this role and that one of his character’s most dominant relationship is with a dude. Besides, he played a gay character in the film White Frog.

        • Lori Mac says:

          He probably had to do a chemistry test with the Alec actor. It’s silly to think he didn’t know Magnus is bisexual going in….

  7. A says:

    I think I remember Shum being up for the Magnus role when they were casting the film.

  8. mia says:

    Awesome news

  9. Jules says:

    Loving the Alan Van Sprang casting… I think he will definitely be able to play that whole Valentine villain, hopefully they put a good blone wig on him.
    Not fully on board with Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus yet, mostly because I love the actor who played Magnus in the film in that role.. but definitely giving him a chance to see what he can do.

  10. Sara says:

    Magnus is hoot and looks young can’t wait for the series know 😊

  11. Mal says:

    What happened to Godfrey Gao?? I liked him :(
    Harry is fine, but I’m not too sure he can pull off Magnus Bane’s sexiness.

    • rian says:

      Yeah, I was unsure of that, too. But with Magnus I feel his charming funny sexiness stems from his personality and dialogue – so I don’t think we know anything until we have seen the new guy in action.

  12. Leo says:

    Being a somewhat conservative network, I highly doubt ABC Family will depict Bane as a bisexual character. He might be flirty towards guys, sure, but I don’t believe it will go any further.
    Also, Matthew Daddario, the actor cast as Alec, seems to be your typical ‘white-young-hot-american-dude” and I believe his agent would be strongly against him playing a gay character, which “could hurt” his career.
    Mix all that and we have a recipe for killing LGBT+ characters.
    Unfortunately that’s how it usually goes (e.g. Thomas Dekker in Heroes. His character was supposed to be gay, but his storyline had to be changed due to his agent being afraid playing a gay character could hurt his chances of playing strong straight characters, which is the direction the agent was going for with the young actor’s career).
    But… Hope’s always the last one down, right?
    I trully hope ABC proves me wrong. We’ll see.

    • Lunessa says:

      Matthew Daddario played a gay role before. It was the movie delivery man, which is by the way a very good movie and its kinda funny. I know you made this comment a year ago, but just letting you know.

  13. Liz says:

    I scrolled to the bottom of these comments and saw Leo’s first: “Being a somewhat conservative network, I highly doubt ABC Family will depict Bane as a bisexual character. He might be flirty towards guys, sure, but I don’t believe it will go any further.”

    Obviously Leo doesn’t actually ever watch ABC Family. Or he’d know that The Fosters is a show about a lesbian couple and their kids. He’d also know they’re going to have a reality series this summer about transgender kids. I highly doubt that ABC Family will be afraid of putting Magnus and Alec together.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what ABC Family does with this series. I loved the books, and was disappointed that the movie didn’t do better so it could film the whole series. I think most of these teen paranormal novels would be much better suited for tv. Look at Vampire Diaries, the show is even better than the books. I just hope that with Shadowhunters they don’t stray as far from the story.

  14. Candace says:

    Great actor, but I’m pretty sure that Valentine had more of a description than just his ways. He is supposed to have white blonde hair as his real son Jonathon has. Let us hope they fix the hair…. Other than that I can see him as Valentine.

  15. Johanne says:

    I can’t see alan be valentine. Bc I just loved how Jonathan rhys looked like in the movie :/