Vince Flynn's novel, American Assassin, debuted to good reviews in 2011 and became a New York Times bestseller. This September, its movie adaptation will begin shooting in London. So far the movie has recruited two big names to its cast: Spotlight star Michael Keaton and Maze Runner star Dylan O'Brien. Today the American Assassin big screen tale added a third man to the ranks with True Detective Season 2 star Taylor Kitsch.
According to THR, Kitsch will play the movie's main antagonist, who will tangle with lead protagonist Mitch Rapp, played by O'Brien. Following a similar path as the same-named book, American Assassin follows Rapp, originally an Arab linguistic student, who is recruited by the CIA to become an assassin after his girlfriend is killed in a tragic terrorist attack. Michael Keaton will play Rapp's mentor (a role originally offered to Bruce Willis), and when the two of them are sent to investigate a serious of crimes that have targeted both the military and civilians, they'll learn that a mysterious evildoer, a.k.a. Kitsch's character, is determined to kick off a new world war in the Middle East. American Assassin will be directed by Homeland's Michael Cuesta, and the script was written by The Americans scribe Stephen Schiff.
Taylor Kitsch has been a recurring name in Hollywood for 10 years across movies and television. TV fans know him best as Tim Riggins in NBC's Friday Night Lights, but on the big screen, he's known for playing Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, John Carter's eponymous protagonist, Alex Hopper in Battleship and Michael P. Murphy in Lone Survivor, to name just a few. He most recently appeared in Season 2 of the HBO series True Detective as Paul Woodrugh, costarring alongside Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Vince Vaughn.
American Assassin has been in development for years, but it's only within the last half year that it's started to pick up steam. The movie is being made by Lionsgate and CBS Films, and if all goes well, it could end up being a quiet hit at the box office. While Taylor Kitsch's blockbuster fare haven't been rousing successes, he's been able to show off more of acting talents with quieter fare. Granted, American Assassin will surely be packed with action, but it sounds like it will provide more room for dramatic fare over more bombastic material. Seeing Kitsch playing the villain is also outside the norm, so it will be interesting to see him walk on the dark side as this unnamed terrorist.
American Assassin hasn't been assigned an official release date yet, but we'll keep you up to date on the movie's development as more information comes in. Let us know what you think of Taylor Kitsch's casting in the comments below.