With the upcoming Atomic Blonde about to give moviegoers the female equivalent of James Bond, it appears the Bond producers themselves have set their sights on another female badass. As confirmed Wednesday by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions, Blake Lively has been cast as Stephanie Patrick in the upcoming adaptation of The Rhythm Section. Based on the series by British writer Mark Burnell, the film will star Lively as a woman whose family was killed in a plane crash. Falling down a self-destructive path, Stephanie’s life gains new purpose upon learning that the crash was not an accident. Now she has adopted the guise of an assassin in order to track down her family’s murderers and rediscover her own identity. Also, seeing as how this is a series, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to assume that producers are hoping to create a new franchise around this character and the big name of Lively.
This focus on the main protagonist’s struggle will work well for director Reed Morano, whose recent work includes directing multiple episodes of Hulu’s The Handmaiden’s Tale. Similar to Offred, Stephanie Patrick is someone who has lost everything and now seeks to rebel against those who took her family’s lives. A common theme exists in the claiming of identity, as Stephanie adopts multiple names and disguises in order to discover those who killed her family. Yet through these numerous roles that she dons, Stephanie seeks to re-experience her old self.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Mark Burnell’s ‘The Rhythm Section’ to the big screen with our partners at IM Global,” Broccoli and Wilson said in and interview. “It is exciting for us to be working with the immensely talented team of director Reed Morano and actress who have a strong vision for this very compelling story driven by a female protagonist.”
“In Stephanie Patrick, Mark has created a unique female heroine who turns so many of the current cinematic clichés surrounding so-called ‘kick-ass’ female leads on their head,” said IM Global co-founder Stuart Ford, whose company will be producing the film alongside EON Productions. “To be bringing such a fresh, realistic, and bold international thriller to the big screen with EON Productions, Reed, and Blake is an exciting proposition for us all at IM Global.”
The Rhythm Section will begin production this fall, shooting in locations throughout the United States and Europe.