Mark Rylance Joins Action Thriller The Gunman

He'll play Sean Penn's nemesis

Mark Rylance, Tony Awards

Given that he's best known for the punchy Taken, Pierre Morel's assembling a seriously high-value cast for his next film, The Gunman. He's already lined up Sean Penn, Idris Elba, Javier Bardem and Ray Winstone for the action thriller; now Mark Rylance is set to sign on as well.

How familiar you are with Rylance may depend on how closely you follow award-winning theatre, since he's basically in all of it. Oh sure, he's appeared in films like The Other Boleyn Girl and Anonymous (let's pretend he wasn't in the latter, eh? At least he only played a Shakespearean actor, which is casting for type). But it's really incredible turns on stage in the likes of Jerusalem and basically the entire Shakespeare canon for which he's best known. He's a double Tony and Olivier winner, and will no doubt be stretched not-at-all to play the nemesis to Sean Penn's spy.

The film's plot sees Penn as an "international operative" whose handlers turn against him and who's forced into a game of cat-and-mouse across Europe. It sounds like everyone else in the film, which also stars Jasmine Trinca, will basically be hunting Penn.

It's all based on a script by Dredd director Pete Travis, adapting a novel by French crime writer Jean-Patrick Manchette. Shooting starts this month, so look out for it in a scenic European spot near you.