Director Ed Zwick has signed on to bring author Vince Flynn‘s signature character, CIA Agent Mitch Rapp, to the big screen in American Assassin. CBS Films, which has optioned Flynn’s books for a potential action franchise, was in business with director Antoine Fuqua as late as last January to adapt Flynn’s Consent to Kill. They were looking at casting Gerard Butler, Colin Ferrell or Matthew Fox in in the role of CIA Agent Mitch Rapp but that film is now on hold.
American Assassin is a prequel to the Vince Flynn series which takes the story of the CIA Super Agent Mitch Rapp back to his college days when a tragedy, the Locklerbie Bombing, altered his life forever and led to his recruitment to the nation’s most elite clandestine spy program. The film will feature signature characters from the Mitch Rapp series including Operations Director Thomas Stansfield and his associates Irene Kennedy and Stan Hurley which, if kept in the screenplay, should offer some meaty supporting roles for the right actors.
The move to develop the prequel gives CBS Films, Ed Zwick and his writing partner Marshall Herskovitz, with whom Zwick will adapt the novel, the opportunity to cast a younger actor who could age with what producers hope will become a Jack Ryan/Jason Bourne style action franchise. Deadline.com spoke to CBS Films President Amy Baer who clarified that the company was prepping Consent to Kill when Vince Flynn informed the company of his upcoming prequel.
“Vince told us he was going to tell Mitch Rapp’s origin story in American Assassin” said Baer in the Deadline interview. Baer continued saying that adapting American Assassin was “…a natural decision to introduce Mitch Rapp, the man before he became the legend.”
No word on casting as Zwick and Herskowitz are just now at work on the screenplay but young Hollywood studs such as Andrew Garfield, Taylor Lautner and Armie Hammer might want to call their agents.