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Ed Zwick Takes Aim At American Assassin

Based on the Mitch Rapp novel series

After taking time away from brawling Samurais and righteous World War Two Jews defending themselves against Nazis to make Love and Other Drugs, it looks like Ed Zwick is itching for some fresh action, signing on to co-write and direct an adaptation of Vince Flynn’s novel American Assassin.

The book is actually the 11th book in Flynn’s series about tough-as-old-boots, Jack Bauer-style CIA agent Mitch Rapp, but also happens to flash back to his early days, when the young Rapp was still in college and a tragedy helped prod him on the course to be a badass terrorist hunter for the agency.

It’s not the first attempt CBS Films has made on bringing Rapp to the screen. After snatching the rights to Flynn’s sixth book, Consent to Kill, the company last year hired Antoine Fuqua to begin developing it as a directing job, with Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Lost’s Matthew Fox as possible stars. “We were prepping Consent to Kill when Vince told us he was going to tell Mitch Rapp’s origin story in American Assassin,” CBS Films’ Amy Baer says in a statement picked up by Deadline. “From there it was a natural decision to introduce audiences to Mitch Rapp, the man before he became the legend.”

The change, of course, allows the producers to pick and choose from young, up-and-coming male stars, so expect a flurry of casting rumours to begin as soon as Zwick and regular collaborator Marshall Herskovitz have cranked out the script. Flynn, at least, seems happy with the choice: “I have no doubt that Edward Zwick will do an incredible job of bringing Mitch Rapp to the big screen. Ed is among the smartest and most innovative filmmakers in Hollywood and I am fully confident that he is the right man for this job.”

Can Rapp reach cinemas this time? We’ll see. Given how much trouble the freshly rebooted Jack Ryan is having, we might be in for a wait…