Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp book series is heading for the big screen and already has Dylan O'Brien (The Maze Runner) onboard to play Rapp, with Michael Keaton (Birdman) as his mentor Stan Hurley. Now the first planned film, American Assassin, has a villain in place, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) is planning to channel his bad side.
Michael Cuesta (Homeland) is calling the shots for this one, and the script, written by Stephen Schiff (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), spins the clock back to Rapp's early days with the agency, when he is recruited after his girlfriend is killed in a terrorist strike.
Though Rapp was introduced in 1999, the film adapts the eponymous 2010 tome that looked at his days in training. Keaton's character, Stan Hurley, is described as a secretive Cold War veteran who takes Rapp under his wing. The pair are assigned to investigate a wave of what at first seem to be random attacks on military and civilian targets, but the signs point to a mysterious operative who is looking to stoke up new wars in the Middle East. Kitsch will be the man with the nasty plan.
The cameras should be rolling later this month in London and Budapest. Kitsch, meanwhile, is currently at work on true life firefighter drama Granite Mountain and has been busy trying to set up his directorial debut, crime thriller Pieces.