It seems that everyone wants a piece of Chris Hemsworth nowadays (that joke writes itself). The Avengers star is filming the sequel Thor: The Dark World right now – and appears in the Red Dawn remake next month – but CBS wants him to thereafter headline American Assassin, an adaptation of Vince Flynn’s ‘origins novel’ for CIA agent Mitch Rapp (sequentially, it is the eleventh Rapp book written by Flynn).
CBS has Bruce Willis lined up to portray Rapp’s CIA mentor in the film, with Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor) directing from a revised script draft written by Mike Finch (Predators). Insiders are saying the studio has broached Hemsworth with an offer of $10 million to sign on for American Assassin, with the hope that this will become just the first in a series of movies centered around the Rapp character.
Deadline has the scoop on Hemsworth being offered American Assassin, which is not a done deal yet. The actor is already lined up to work with Steven Spielberg on the sci-fi adaptation Robopocalypse, once filming wraps on the second Thor movie. However, shooting on Assassin isn’t scheduled to get going until Fall 2013, so that leaves plenty of time for Hemsworth to collaborate with Spielberg before he teams with Nachmanoff (should he choose to, of course).
The idea that Hemsworth might pass on a $10 million offer from CBS sounds kind of ridiculous at first, but you have to remember he’s already an essential player in two major comic book franchises; not to mention, there’s also the gestating Snow White and the Huntsman spinoff that will revolve around Hemsworth as the latter character (assuming it gets made). Hence, the Son of Odin can be selective when it comes to what roles he does and doesn’t accept.
American Assassin has been in development since 2008, with Colin Farrell (Total Recall) and Matthew Fox (Alex Cross) among those considered to portray young Mitch Rapp – who begins as a well-adjusted All-American college athlete, before tragedy strikes and inspires him to become a terrorist-hunter. The project was, at one point, going to be directed by Oscar-winner Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond) working from a script he co-wrote with Marshall Herskovitz.
Zwick eventually left the project while it remained stalled in pre-production, setting the stage for Nachmanoff to replace him (and Fincher to retool the script). That might’ve been for the best, seeing how the former has honed his craft working on Showtime’s Emmy-winning series Homeland – and knows a thing or two about creating captivating action-thrillers involving hard-willed CIA agents.
More on American Assassin as the story develops.