Lionsgate and CBS Films has debuted the first trailer and poster for the long-awaited adaptation American Assassin, based on author Vince Flynn's iconic novel series following the character Mitch Rapp, played by Dylan O'Brien. With 15 novels and counting in this series, CBS Films could very well have a franchise on their hands, if American Assassin becomes a big hit at the box office. But as of now, no sequel plans have been confirmed. This footage gives us some early insight into Mitch Rapp's past, teasing the path that lead him to the CIA.
American Assassin follows the rise of Mitch Rapp (Dylan O'Brien) a CIA black ops recruit under the instruction of Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). The pair is then enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets. Together the three discover a pattern in the violence leading them to a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent (Shiva Negar) to stop a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) intent on starting a World War in the Middle East.
This adaptation was in development for several years, with Edward Zwick attached to direct in June 2011, while writing the script with his longtime writing partner Marshall Herskowitz, who he collaborated with on The Last Samurai, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Love and Other Drugs. The filmmaker reportedly parted ways to direct The Great Wall, which he also has a story credit on with Marshall Herskowitz, although he didn't end up directing that film either. Jeffrey Nachmanoff then came aboard to replace him at the helm, but he didn't stick around for too long either as the project slowly started to slip into development hell.
Thor star Chris Hemsworth reportedly turning down a $10 million offer to play Mitch Rapp back in 2012, with Bruce Willis also circling the Stan Hurley role around that time as well. Eventually, the project got back on the right track, with director Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger) coming aboard to direct from a script by Stephen Schiff (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), Michael Finch (Hitman: Agent 47) and the writing team of Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz (The Last Samural). American Assassin is the 11th of the 13 Mitch Rapp novels Vince Flynn wrote, but it's the first story in the franchise timeline, showcasing a young Mitch Rapp for the first time. Vince Flynn passed away in 2013 after a three-year battle with prostate cancer, with Kyle Mills taking over writing the Mitch Rapp novels.
CBS Films has set a September 15 release date for American Assassin, which puts it up against Open Road Films' All I See Is You and Sony's The Soultrean. It will also come between a pair of highly-anticipated projects, New Line's IT remake on Septmeber 8 and Warner Bros. Ninjago on September 22. Take a look at the first trailer and poster for the upcoming adaptation American Assassin.