American Assassin, the upcoming screen adaptation based on Vince Flynn’s best-selling book series, has already set Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) and Michael Keaton attached. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Taylor Kitsch appears to be joining the cast as well, playing the film’s villain. Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger) is directing the project, to be co-financed by CBS Films and Lionsgate. Production is set to commence next month.
The film will center around Flynn’s protagonist Mitch Rapp (O’Brien), an Arab linguistics student. Rapp joins the Central Intelligence Agency – as the titular “American Assassin” following the death of his girlfriend in a terrorist attack while Keaton portrays his Cold War-trained mentor of sorts. Their latest mission involves an enigmatic operative causing lots of trouble in the Middle East – the role of the operative is likely being portrayed by Kitsch. Stephen Schiff wrote the film’s screenplay.
Kitsch broke out in the beloved television series Friday Night Lights but has had a little bit of trouble breaking out into – his two big-budgets tries Battleship and John Carter were costly bombs. He has also appeared, in smaller roles, in more successful projects like Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor and Oliver Stone’s Savages. He also recently appeared, memorably, in Emmy winning HBO movie The Normal Heart and earned some critical acknowledged for his work on the second season of HBO’s True Detective. Kitsch is currently filming Granite Mountain opposite a sprawling ensemble cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Ben Hardy, Alex Russell, Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly.
American Assassin looks likely to open sometime next year.