Oscar nominated actor Michael Keaton is having a much deserved great run for having starred in two Academy Award winning films namely Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Birdman” and last year’s “Spotlight” directed by Tom McCarthy. Keaton, who is best known for playing the titular role in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns,” has been tapped to star in the adaptation of Vince Flynn’s bestselling novel, “American Assassin.”
According to Deadline, Lionsgate and CBS Films have announced that Keaton will play the role of Stan Hurley, a mysterious Cold War veteran assigned to train the lead character Mitch Rapp, “a black ops recruit who’s devastated by the loss of his fiancée to a terrorist attack.”
The synopsis as given by Deadline is as follows – “The CIA deputy director assigns the shadowy Hurley to train a grief-stricken but highly motivated Rapp how to thwart terrorist operations and hunt the perpetrators. As Rapp’s training progresses, the pair is dispatched on a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative from starting World War III in the Middle East.”
Deadline had earlier reported that Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, had been offered the role of Mitch Rapp in 2012 while Bruce Willis was in talks to play his mentor, Stan Hurley.
Collider notes that Michael Cuesta, who will direct “American Assassin,” welcomed Keaton’s casting in an official statement. “Stan Hurley is one of the pillars of the Vince Flynn universe and a favorite character for millions of readers, so casting him was a daunting challenge. To have an actor as intelligent and gifted as Michael Keaton bring this beloved character to life is a thrill for everyone involved in AMERICAN ASSASSIN and a cause for celebration amongst ‘Hurley’ fans the world over.”
This can indeed prove to be a long-term engagement for Keaton as late author Vince Flynn has written fourteen novels where the character of Mitch Rapp appears. If the first film proves to be a success, there inevitably will be more sequels that follow, as is the Hollywood tradition.
The screenplay for the film will be written by Stephen Schiff based on the novel by Flynn. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler will produce it.
Seeing as the Mitch Rapp character is yet to be cast, who do you see will fit the role? Make your suggestions below.