Sep 13, 2016

First Look at Dylan O'Brian as Mitch Rapp in American Assassin

Summit/Lionsgate have released (via Dark Horizons) a synopsis and the first still of Dylan O'Brian (Teen Wolf, The Maze Runner) as Vince Flynn's CIA assassin Mitch Rapp in American Assassin. The studio hopes the film will kick off a new spy franchise based on Flynn's Mitch Rapp books. (The series has continued in the hands of other authors since Flynn's death.)

Though it wasn't the first novel in the series, Flynn's American Assassin was a prequel and served as Rapp's origin story, in which the young CIA Black Ops recruit (O'Brian), hungry for revenge after losing his fiance in a terrorist attack, is mentored by Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). Per the studio's synopsis, "The pair are enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets. Teaming up with a lethal Turkish agent (Shiva Negar), they must stop a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) intent on starting a World War in the Middle East."

Mitch Rapp has taken a long, winding road to get to the screen, and it's unfortunate that his creator didn't live to see the results. 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 all at one time or another flirted with playing Vince Flynn's counterterror hero. Legends' Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Legends of the Fall's Ed Zwick were both linked to direct at one time or another, before the job eventually went to Homeland veteran Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger). Originally it was CBS Films' plan to adapt Flynn's 2005 novel Consent to Kill first, and at one point Bruce Willis was attached to the Hurly role Keaton eventually filled. Whew!

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