Mar 11, 2016

Tradecraft: Michael Keaton to Costar in Flynn's American Assassin

The long, long gestating Mitch Rapp movie seems to finally be gaining some traction and moving towards production. First set up at CBS Films for producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura way back in early 2008, actors like Gerrard Butler, Matthew Fox and Chris Hemsworth have all at one time or another flirted with playing Vince Flynn's counterterror hero in what's hoped to be a franshise based on the late author's 13 novel series. It was reported a while ago that Homeland veteran Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger) would direct, but we haven't heard anything new since then and I wondered if he was even still involved. (Legends' Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Legends of the Fall's Ed Zwick had previously been linked to the project in that capacity.) Evidently he is. In the first casting announcement of this particular incarnation, Deadline reports that Michael Keaton (The Company) will play the supporting role of Stan Hurley in American Assassin, Rapp's CIA mentor, a shadowy veteran of Cold War Black Ops. Bruce Willis had been attached to this role in a previous incarnation of the Rapp movie. American Assassin isn't based on Flynn's first book, but on the chronological first story in the series. (Originally it was CBS Films' plan to adapt Flynn's Consent to Kill first.) Published in 2010, the novel was a prequel telling the origins of the fearless Rapp, who joined the CIA hungry for revenge after his fiance was killed in a terrorist attack and came under the tutelege of Hurley.

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