Taylor Kitsch will be a villain in American Assassin

Taylor Kitsch

by James White |
Published on

Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp book series is headed for the screen and already has a Rapp (Dylan O'Brien) and someone to play mentor Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton.) Now the first planned film, American Assassin, has a villain in place, with Taylor Kitsch planning to channel his bad side.

Michael Cuesta is calling the shots for this one, and the script, written by Stephen Schiff, spins the clock back to Rapp's early days with the agency, when he's recruited after his girlfriend is killed in a terrorist strike.

Though Rapp was introduced in 1999, the film adapts the eponymous 2010 tome that looked at his days in training. Keaton's character is described as a Stan Hurley, a secretive Cold War veteran who takes Rapp under his wing. The pair is assigned to investigate a wave of what at first seem to be random attacks on military and civilian targets, but the signs point to a mysterious operative who is looking to stoke up new wars in the Middle East. Kitsch will be the man with the nasty plan.

The cameras should be rolling next month in London and Budapest. Kitsch is at work on true-life firefighter drama Granite Mountain and has been busy trying to set up his directorial debut, crime thriller Pieces.

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