Blake Lively Spy Thriller 'The Rhythm Section' Picked Up by Paramount

Blake Lively_Reed Morano_Split - Getty - H 2017
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Reed Morano, who helmed episodes of 'The Handmaid's Tale,' is attached to direct.

Paramount is getting into the female spy business.

The studio has picked up The Rhythm Section, a spy thriller package that has Blake Lively attached to star and Reed Morano, who directed three episodes of The Handmaid's Tale, attached to helm.

Producing are Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions, who know a thing or two about the spy-film world as they produced the last eight James Bond movies. IM Global is financing.

According to the studio, Rhythm Section is a contemporary adaptation of the first of British thriller writer Mark Burnell's Stephanie Patrick series of four novels:  

Patrick (Lively) is on a path of self-destruction after the death of her family in an airplane crash, a flight that she was meant to be on. After discovering that the crash was not an accident, her anger awakens a new sense of purpose and she rises to uncover the truth by adopting the identity of an assassin to track down those responsible. The new, and lethal, Stephanie Patrick is on a mission to fill the void between what she knows and what she is told.  

Other novels in Burnell's popular series include Gemini, The Third Woman and Chameleon.

The studio is hoping the collaboration is successful enough to launch a global franchise.

Morano is a cinematographer-turned-helmer with credits including Frozen River and HBO's Vinyl who made her directorial debut with 2015's Meadowland, an indie drama that starred Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson.

Lively last starred in the shark thriller The Shallows and the Marc Forster drama All I See Is You.