CBS Films has tapped Jeffrey Nachmanoff to direct an adaptation of Vince Flynn’s spy novel American Assassin. The book is actually the 11th in Flynn’s series that centers on CIA Agent Mitch Rapp. Assassin serves as a prequel to the series and tells the story of how, as a college scholar and athlete, tragedy forged Rapp’s path to become a ruthless hunter of terrorists for the CIA. Edward Zwick was initially tapped to direct the film, but he dropped out when the schedule conflicted with his next directorial effort, The Great Wall.
Nachmanoff previously directed the 2008 thriller Traitor starring Don Chedele, and recently helmed two episodes of Showtime’s fantastic series Homeland. Deadline reports that Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz wrote the most recent draft of Assassin, but Herskovitz exited when Zwick did. There’s no word on who’ll they’ll bring in to do a rewrite. Nachmanoff himself wrote The Day After Tomorrow and the upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner The Last Stand. CBS Films previously planned on beginning the potential Mitch Rapp franchise with Consent to Kill, but decided Assassin provided a better starting point. The film really hinges on who plays Rapp, and CBS Films plans on going with a younger actor. Hopefully we hear some casting news soon. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book.
Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terrorist’s worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world . . . and then tragedy struck.
Two decades of cutthroat, partisan politics has left the CIA and the country in an increasingly vulnerable position. Cold War veteran and CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield knows he must prepare his people for the next war. The rise of Islamic terrorism is coming, and it needs to be met abroad before it reaches America’s shores. Stansfield directs his protÉgÉe, Irene Kennedy, and his old Cold War colleague, Stan Hurley, to form a new group of clandestine operatives who will work outside the normal chain of command—men who do not exist.
What type of man is willing to kill for his country without putting on a uniform? Kennedy finds him in the wake of the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack. Two-hundred and seventy souls perished that cold December night, and thousands of family and friends were left searching for comfort. Mitch Rapp was one of them, but he was not interested in comfort. He wanted retribution.
Six months of intense training has prepared him to bring the war to the enemy’s doorstep, and he does so with brutal efficiency. Rapp starts in Istanbul, where he assassinates the Turkish arms dealer who sold the explosives used in the Pan Am attack. Rapp then moves onto Hamburg with his team and across Europe, leaving a trail of bodies. All roads lead to Beirut, though, and what Rapp doesn’t know is that the enemy is aware of his existence and has prepared a trap. The hunter is about to become the hunted, and Rapp will need every ounce of skill and cunning if he is to survive the war-ravaged city and its various terrorist factions. [Amazon]