Mar 21, 2010

Tradecraft: CBS Films Casting Mitch Rapp

Mike Fleming at Deadline New York reports that CBS Films have reached the casting stage on their film adaptation of Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp novel Consent to Kill.  Apparently, the frontrunners to play Flynn's tough CIA counter-terrorism agent are Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Lost's Matthew Fox.  The trade blog also reports that Keanu Reeves and Mad Men's Jon Hamm are longshot contenders.  Hollywood seems determined to cast Hamm in a potential spy franchise; he was seriously considered for Matt Helm at one point, as well.  (Personally, I think he'd be better for a period spy vehicle, along the lines of the recent French OSS 117 films.  His hair only works when slicked back in a Sixties style!)  According to Fleming, Consent to Kill (which isn't the first book in the Rapp series, by the way) finds Rapp contending with "a German spy and a husband and wife assassin team who've been hired to kill him, along with bureaucrats in the government who want to do Rapp harm" as the agent takes on a Saudi Arabian terrorist hellbent on revenge.  Personally, I thought they would go after bigger movie stars for this role.  I like Colin Farrell (he really proved himself in In Bruges), but he's had his shot at Hollywood leading man stardom and it didn't really pay off.  Butler was charming as a Saturday Night Live host and compelling in 300, but that film was a number of rom-com flops ago.  He's never proven himself as a contemporary action star.  And Fox, Vantage Point aside, is a TV actor, and not the most commanding presence on Lost.  But Fleming asserts that Fox feels passionately about the project and has been actively chasing the role, so maybe passion would make up for movie experience.

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