The movie will mark the directorial debut of comic and graphic novel author Frank Miller.
Paulson, who was last seen in the NBC series, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," joins Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson in the dark supernatural tale about a young cop who returns from the dead to fight crime, the Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday.
While Mendes and Johansson will play femme fatales, Paulson is set to play the hero's more genuine love interest, Dr. Ellen Dolan, the police commissioner's daughter.
"Behind Enemy Lines" and "The Good Shepherd" star Gabriel Macht has been cast in the role of the crime fighter known as The Spirit, while Samuel L. Jackson will play the villain Octopus and Dan Lauria will play the commissioner.
The film is slated to begin shooting next month in New Mexico and is expected to hit theaters in 2009.