Bruce Willis In Talks To Become An ‘American Assassin’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

bruce willis american assassin Bruce Willis In Talks To Become An American Assassin

American Assassin is the eleventh Mitch Rapp book written by Vince Flynn, but the first installment chronologically – as it picks up with the famous counter-terrorism operative before he was recruited unofficially, then officially, by the CIA.

CBS Films originally had plans to adapt Flynn’s Consent to Kill first, but changed course after the author’s Mitch Rapp prequel novel was released in 2010. There’s no word yet on who will be headlining the potential franchise starter, but Bruce Willis – whose buzzed-about sci-fi thriller Looper hits theaters in a few weeks – is up to tackle the role of Rapp’s CIA mentor.

American Assassin recalls Paramount’s upcoming Jack Ryan reboot, as the latter also features a seasoned acting veteran in Kevin Costner, playing the mentor figure opposite a fresh-faced pre-CIA lead (Chris Pine in Jack Ryan). Assassin has an advantage in the sense that Mitch Rapp is new to the big screen; moreover, Rapp has the potential to resonate with modern audiences more than Ryan, as the former specializes in stopping Middle-Eastern terrorist attacks.

Rapp isn’t as well-known as Ryan, though, which accounts for why CBS is closing a deal with Willis before securing a younger, less bankable actor to headline the film. Variety¬†also points out that¬†American Assassin marks the latest collaboration between the Die Hard star and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who previously worked together on RED and G.I. Joe: Retaliation (they will also begin shooting RED 2 this fall).

american assassin movie Bruce Willis In Talks To Become An American Assassin

Oscar-winner Edward Zwick was previously onboard to direct American Assassin, working from an adapted script he co-wrote with frequent collaborator Marshall Herskovitz; the duo have since moved on to the Chinese history/fantasy adventure The Great Wall. Helmer duties are instead being handled by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, the writer-director behind Don Cheadle’s Bourne-esque international thriller Traitor, as well as a couple episodes on Showtime’s award-winning CIA mystery-drama Homeland. Assassin is now being penned by Michael Finch, co-writer of Predators.

Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell, and Matthew Fox were eyed to portray Mitch Rapp in Consent to Kill, but it’s possible that none of them are in the running for American Assassin – given that the latter picks up with the character during his days as an All-American athlete attending Syracuse University. Filming isn’t scheduled to begin until Fall 2013, so it could be a while until a definite answer is provided.

More on American Assassin as the story develops.


Source: Variety

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  1. How many assassins can Bruce Willis play?

    • as many as he damn well wants!!

      • I read this paragraph completely about the difference of most
        up-to-date and earlier technologies, it’s awesome article.

  2. Vince Flynn’s books are absolutely great fun! I will definitely be up for a Mitch Rapp franchise; I can feel the bullets and adrenaline flying right now!

  3. I have read every Mitch Rapp book and see no part for Bruce Willis. I OFTEN PICTURE ben Affleck as Rapp and the guy who played Mike Franks on ncis as Stan Hurley…never picture bruce willis as any character.

    • Please keep Willis out of this franchise. He can only play one character and it is not Mitch Rapp. Don’t cave in like they did with runt Tom Cruise as 6’5″ Jack Reacher.

    • absolutely stoked if Willis gets the part of Hurley. He appeared in the earlier books that I read, but I didnt pay much attention to his character as much as I did in American Assassin when that first hit the shelves. And when I read Hurley’s scenes in American Assassin, all I could picture was Willis. So it seems Vince Flynn and I both had the same idea for the perfect actor to play him. I just can’t picture the perfect Mitch Rapp, though. I keep seeing a younger Tom Cruise playing the part of Rapp, (think Cruise in the first Mission Impossible movies). But as I hate Tom Cruise in any role, the thought of him playing my favorite all time terrorist-killing death-dealing one-man army makes me cringe. And I can see the woman who plays Director Jenny Shepherd from the NCIS TV series playing Irene Kennedy or Jessica Chastain who played the red-haired CIA babe who found the location of Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty, although she is a bit too young to play Irene. But perhaps the film directors can take a few liberties here and there and change things up just a bit as long as the actors and actresses suit the role, regardless of the age. And that guy who played the Secretary of Defense in 1996′s Independence Day playing CIA Director Thomas Stansfield.

  4. Bruce as Hurley will be interesting.

    Still, all things considered, I would have preferred they start with Blondie in Term Limits.

    Oded (Resident Evil 2/3, Covert Affairs cameos) as Mitch would be nice

    • Blondie = Scott Coleman

  5. I really, really hope that they take a cue from the movie “Red,” and let Karl Urban play Mitch Rapp. He essentially played Mitch Rapp in Red, and would be perfect for the real role. I have seen the list of possible actors and I have to say that Eric Bana doesn’t fit nor do the others. Urban had the contained rage that Rapp has and would be great in the role. I hope they are considering him, especially if they are having Bruce Willis in the film. They worked well together in Red.

    • Yep, Urban is exactly who I picture as Rapp. Would love to see Urban as Rapp telling some politician to go f themselves.

    • I know this is a 2 year old comment and you probably won’t see this response but as to the actor playing Rapp, up until reading your comment and looking up pictures of Karl Urban on Google Images, I could only (much to my most extreme irritation) picture a younger Tom Cruise playing Rapp, but now, having seen what Karl Urban looks like, holy s*** he is definitely a better picture of Rapp. thanks for putting that up there, puts my mind at great ease that there are better candidates for the role of Rapp (the one of two roles they can NOT screw up – Hurley being the other)

      • I agree 100% with your post, Erik–after looking at the images of Karl Urban, I think he would make a great Mitch Rapp. He has the dark, piercing eyes I always pictured while reading the books. And I also think Muse Watson (looked up his name) who played Mike Franks on NCIS would make an excellent Stan Hurley. Now we just need to decide on Irene Kennedy and Scott Coleman. :)

  6. Yeah, the guy from NCIS would be a good stan hurley. Better than Bruce Willis for sure, Bruce doesn’t fit the role as well as the guy from NCIS.

    • As long as they don’t give the role of Mitch Rapp to Bruce Willis … that would be a huge mistake! I’ve been very excited about this film until I saw Bruce Willis was up for that part … please no!

    • Hey Billc, how about Sam Elliot as Hurley?

  7. Bruce Willis isn’t playing Mitch Rapp guys.. He’s playing Stan Hurley, he’s mentor.

  8. Yeah, Sam Eliot would be a good one for that role…I still don’t think that willis would be a good Hurley. I for one think Hurley is a weak character in the series…I was watching the shoe “Arrow,” last week. The woman who plays Green Arrows mother might be a good pick for Rapp’s boss. It is hard to find people in hollywood with the “weight,” to play these hardened terrorist killers.

  9. what do u guys reckon about michael fassbender or henry cavill to play mitch rapp

  10. I think Karl Urban will play a great role as Mitch Rapp. He fits Rapp’s physical description, and Urban’s role in “Red” proves he can do the job. I can’t imagine anyone else playing that role, including the 3 top contenders in the running who wouldn’t do justice to Mitch Rapp’s character.

    • I’m glad you see it…as soon as I saw Red I knew he was Mitch Rapp. He has the controlled rage that Rapp has and just fits the role in a way none of the others do. I just hope that the people making the movie realize it.

    • Karl Urban played Jason Bourne’s nemisis in the second Bourne movie. He was a Russian hit man. That kind of ruined him being Rapp for me, but he would do a good job.

  11. Couldn’t be happier that Hollywood has FINALLY discovered Vince Flynn. I’m reading Memorial Day now and thinking “ooh, ooh, how am I going to survive once I finish this series.” I am a total Vince Flynn addict. Now as to who will play Mitch Rapp, I must say I never heard of Karl Urban until today. Looked him up on IMDB and must admit he looks the part.

    This role is too important to just take the first name you can think of. Gotta be young, 20s, gorgeously handsome, fit, tall, hypnotic eyes, maybe jade green, dark skin, exotic, maybe a young Ben Affleck. Never Bruce Willis at any age. I’m gonna think about it & post again with my suggestions.

  12. so far Karl Urban, or Henry Cavill are the only actors in my mind (that I have come across yet) that can fill this role. Joan Allen (pam landy in borne series) would be good as Irene Kennedy, maybe a little old?

    • I think they should consider Jai Courtney as Mitch.

  13. A beefed up Bruce Willis would be the perfect that role. This is a guy that has actually played the bad-a$s for the 3+ decades (and almost a has-been for those types of roles).

    For Mitch Rapp, I certainly would hope that they choose a non-super star.

  14. Alex O’Loughlin should be considered for Rapp. Unfortunately everyone knows him as Steve McGarret of Five-O now…but his style as McGarrett is what makes him such a candidate: bad ass, follows the rules until he can’t, did i say bad ass? Anyway, 2 cents…..

  15. My first choice: Tom Hardy for me

    2nd: Jai Courtney

  16. Willis is too old to play Hurley in AA. I pictured Randy Couture – if only he was a better actor. I pictured younger Channing Tatum as Rapp, but he might not fit anymore either.

    • Willis doesn’t look too old for Hurley. Remember, Hurley is considerably older even than Irene Kennedy, Mitch’s actual boss or handler. Hurley in American Assassin (set anywhere between 1989 and the early 1990s because of the Pan Am bombing in December 1988) is said to have been the one recruiting men for the SOG which was a Vietnam War-era unit – modern day equivalent is the CIA’s Special Activities Division. And Hurley was also said to have operated in Eastern and Western Europe, like Hungary and Berlin and the like during the heat of the Cold War – so approx. 1950s 1960s maybe 1970s

  17. First I will say that I have always pictures a younger (S.W.A.T) Colin Farrell when reading the NUMEROUS descriptions of Rapp, and when I read that Chris Hemsworth was being eyed for the part I was livid. I think whoever works on this movie should be required to read the book. I have perhaps become a little too attached to these characters while reading through the series, and I want them to be represented as they are WRITTEN! Actually I would prefer there be no movie at all, as I have the feeling Hollywood will only ruin it. I also believe that the actor they choose should actually be American, not just faking the accent. As far as Bruce playing Hurley, he is not the Hurley in my minds eye,(Muse Watson) but I feel I could be swayed as long as they get the main man aka Mr Mitch Rapp correct.

  18. Kayla, You do realize Collin Farrell is not an American, correct? So panning Hemsworth in favor of Ferrell for casting a non-American to portray Rapp is a bit strange. They had better start filming soon before the content becomes irrelevant. :)

  19. I think Oded fehr, from resident evil would be the best Mitch Rapp. Not well known but he’s what I picture Mitch looking like.

  20. R.Lee Ermey as hurly

  21. This is good to know. When I first heard about Bruce Willis,I thought they were casting him as Mitch Rapp, and I thought NOT AGAIN!!! Flashes of Jack Reacher went through my mind. Tom Cruise and all 5’7″ playing a character who is 6’5″ I can see Bruce as the mentor though. He’s a good choice for that.

  22. I like James Franko for Rapp,
    J.K.Simmons as Hurley and Allison Janney as Irene Kenedy.
    Bruce would be great and all but, the story IS about Rapp.
    Kiano Reeves also came to mind for Rapp but never Chris Hemsworth.
    He’s Blond & Blue,& he’s an Ausi.

  23. I have read all Mitch Rapp Novels twice and really Bruce Willis is the LAST ACTOR I would have picked for this role. Obviously if one wants to make movies, one needs to familiarize itself with the book and its characters. I believe the best ACTOR for this role would be Gerard Butler. Tall, dark, handsome with dark wavy hair and with attitude. NOT BALD and over 60 years old. Again I like Bruce Willis, but he is absolutely the wrong person for this role.

    • Again…willis is cast as hurley….not Rapp!

  24. I’d like to see the franchise build. Plan for more than one film, and let the characters develop around the role without preexisting expectations on them. Devin Toft is someone you’ll be seeing more of in the coming years. He’s athletic, dark, and able to fill the demands and expectations of Rapp. I’d like to see more of his work, and thought of him immediately when I read American Assassin. He’d fit the supporting role of Bobby well too.

  25. This would be a perfect opportunity to find an unknown closer to the age of Rapp in this novel and create a franchise character like Bond.

  26. How about Jeremy Renner from the Bourne legacy

  27. I really hoped a Transfer of Powers movie would happen.. and then two White House hostage movies came out at the same time and both were pretty bad, so i guess its better this way.

    Always wanted to see Mitch Rapp on film, hopefully itl happen.