Lionsgate Recruits Michael Keaton For CIA Thriller American Assassin


CBS Films and Lionsgate have placed the proverbial crosshairs on Birdman and Spotlight star Michael Keaton for a key role in upcoming CIA thriller, American Assassin.

Word comes by way of The Wrap, revealing that Keaton will headline the drama as Stan Hurley, a hardboiled Cold War veteran who becomes embroiled in a political cauldron in the Middle East. Tasked with training a new black ops recruit, Hurley’s mission is to prevent overseas tensions from boiling into a full-scale global conflict.

Based on the sprawling and best-selling novel series by Vince Flynn, early signs indicate that both CBS Films and Lionsgate could be gauging the franchise potential of Flynn’s work – there are 14 novels in the series, after all – though nothing will be set in stone until American Assassin makes a beeline into theaters. Shepherding that project from one medium to the next is director Michael Cuesta (Kill The Messenger), working from a screenplay pitched by Stephen Schiff.

In response to Keaton’s casting, an official statement per Lionsgate emphasised the importance of choosing the right man for the job.

“Stan Hurley is one of the pillars of the Vince Flynn universe and a favorite character for millions of readers, so casting him was a daunting challenge. To have an actor as intelligent and gifted as Michael Keaton bring this beloved character to life is a thrill for everyone involved in ‘American Assassin’ and a cause for celebration amongst ‘Hurley’ fans the world over.”

Before Michael Keaton makes tracks to the Middle East to prevent World War III in American Assassin, the Oscar-winner can be seen in the critically-adorned Spotlight.