Vince Flynn first created CIA operative Mitch Rapp for his novel Consent to Kill back in 1999. It's taken Hollywood eighteen years to bring one of our most iconic spy characters to the screen and finally try to launch what could be a massively successful movie franchise. American Assassin arrives in theaters on September 15, 2017 and we've got the first trailer.
Unfortunately, Vince Flynn isn't around to see the movie. He died young (only 47!) in 2013 after a battle with prostate cancer. Fortunately for readers (and potential movie viewers), Flynn left behind 13 novels that feature Mitch Rapp and author Kyle Mills has taken over the series, adding two more novels (so far) to the Rapp series.
American Assassin is based on the 2010 novel that flashed back to Rapp's origin story. The movie series was originally slated to begin with Consent to Kill and actors who were considered for the role included Colin Farrell and Gerard Butler. The producers instead decided to do something radical (and encouraging): they went back to the beginning of the story and cast 25-year-old Dylan O'Brien as Mitch Rapp. All the old-guy Mitch Rapp fans probably haven't seen Dylan as the lead in the wildly successful Maze Runner movies but you might've seen him as a young rig worker in Deepwater Horizon last fall. If O'Brien pulls off the role, he can play the part for decades to come and his popularity with a younger crowd can introduce spy thrillers to a generation who see guys like Matt Damon and Tom Cruise as someone like their dad (or even grandpa).
Old guys will be glad to see Michael Keaton as Stan Hurley, the Cold War veteran who trains Rapp to work for the CIA. If you haven't read the Mitch Rapp novels, Flynn fans will want you to know that he's not an CIA agent but an operative, a shadowy off-the-books figure who works with the CIA and various Special Operations units to get the job done. Sannaa Lathan, Taylor Kitsch and action-guy Scott Adkins co-star.
The producers are also betting on director Michael Cuesta, known for 2014's Kill the Messenger (starring Jeremy Renner) and episodes of Homeland and Dexter. It's no low-budget tax-credit Georgia or Vancouver quickie, either: the production filmed in London, Rome, Thailand and Malta.
We'll have more on American Assassin as we get closer to release.