Come in Jason Bourne / Jack Bauer / Jack Ryan, your time is up. That at least is the message CBS are attempting to send as they move towards setting up their new action franchise. Consent to Kill, the first in a planned series of movies based on the thrillers of Vince Flynn, is headed screenwards with Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun) directing.
So who to play tough-as-nails, rulebook-ignoring, I'll-torture-you-if-I-have-to CIA counter-terrorism agent Mitch Rapp? According to Deadline Hollywood, three actors are in contention for the gig (although it's not clear whether two of them know this). Gerard Butler is apparently the studio favourite, but Colin Farrell is also a strong contender. He may not have done much action in the scheme of things, but CBS supposedly like him because of SWAT. Er, why?
And then there's Lost's Matthew Fox, said to be lobbying very hard for the role. Can he make that Bruce Willis transition from small-screen hit to big-screen superstar?
There are currently ten novels featuring Rapp, of which Consent to Kill is the sixth (the first Bond film, Dr No, is the sixth Ian Fleming novel, so Rapp is at least in good company there). The plot, as is generally the case throughout the series, takes place bang in the middle of the war on terror, and sees Rapp getting a bounty placed on his head by a billionaire Saudi jihadist. The globetrotting adventure takes in the US, Afghanistan and Spain, with a script by Jonathan Lemkin, who wrote Lethal Weapon 4, and adapted Shooter, again for Fuqua.
Is Rapp the new hero we're waiting for? And will this be a hard-hitting polictical action thriller, or gung-ho nonsense? What say you, readers?