CBS Films announced today that Oscar-winner Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond) is attached to direct the film adaptation of American Assassin from a screenplay by Zwick and Oscar-nominee Marshall Herskovitz. The film is based on the #1 NY Times best-selling novel by Vince Flynn. Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, Red) via di Bonaventura Pictures and Nick Wechsler (The Road, We Own the Night) will produce along with Zwick and Herskovitz.
American Assassin tells the story of legendary CIA agent Mitch Rapp. Long before he began hunting terrorists, Rapp was a gifted college scholar/athlete. Then, tragedy struck and Rapp was recruited into the nation's most elite covert operations program. After completing training designed to teach the kind of lethal skills necessary to target our most dangerous enemies, here and abroad, he is a man reborn with a mission of retribution.
"The Mitch Rapp novels are as thrilling and entertaining as they are relevant," said Zwick. "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to translate them to the screen."
American Assassin is the eleventh entry in the Mitch Rapp series. The series has sold more than 13 million copies in the United States alone and more than one million in 19 international markets.
"I have no doubt that Edward Zwick will do an incredible job of bringing Mitch Rapp to the big screen," said Flynn. "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."
Senior Vice President of Production Maria Faillace and Creative Executive Ryan Conroy are overseeing the project for CBS Films, which has been developing another Mitch Rapp novel, Consent to Kill.
"We were prepping Consent to Kill when Vince told us he was going to tell Mitch Rapp's origin story in American Assassin. From there it was a natural decision to introduce audiences to Mitch Rapp - the man before he became the legend," recalled CBS Films President and CEO Amy Baer.
CBS Films controls the rights to the entire series as well as any new sequels and spinoffs. CAA represents Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. Attorneys Eric Brooks and Carlos Goodman of Bloom Hergott represent Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler. Vince Flynn is represented by ICM.