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Taylor Kitsch will play the villain in American Assassin, CBS Films and Lionsgate’s action thriller based on Vince Flynn’s best-selling book series and starring Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton.
Michael Custa is directing the feature project, which sees O’Brien playing Flynn’s hero Mitch Rapp, an Arab linguistics student who joins the CIA as an assassin after his girlfriend is killed in a terrorist attack. Keaton is playing his reluctant mentor, a Cold War veteran.
When the two are enlisted by the CIA to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets, the tracks lead to a mysterious operative intent on starting a world war in the Middle East.
Kitsch will play the villainous operative.
The movie is targeting a September start with shooting to take place in London and Budapest. Stephen Schiff wrote the script.
Di Bonaventura Pictures and Nick Wechsler Productions are producing.
Senior vp production Mark Ross and vp production Alex Ginno are overseeing the project for CBS Films.
American Assassin is being co-financed by CBS Films and Lionsgate, with CBS Films handling production and marketing and Lionsgate handling distribution.
Kitsch broke through playing heartthrobby football player Tim Riggins on the TV series Friday Night Lights and also starred in big-budget tentpoles John Carter and Battleship. He appeared in HBO’s acclaimed AIDS drama The Normal Heart and starred in season 2 of HBO’s True Detective.
Kitsch is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
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