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Best known for his role in The Maze Runner series, Dylan O'Brien has gone from closing out a YA franchise to starting a new role in a more adult oriented franchise. That franchise is the proposed series of films based off of Mitch Rapp, the CIA agent at the forefront of Vince Flynn's best-selling novels. And with American Assassin, O'Brien is looking to craft a new image for himself, at least that's what it looks like in this first photo from the upcoming film. Take a look for yourself below.
The official Facebook page for all American Assassin updates provided us with this first look at Mitch Rapp's on-screen appearance. And to think, yesterday the site was teasing fans with a silhouetted look at Dylan O'Brien inhabiting the role. Both photos came from a recent camera test that O'Brien took part in, as the Michael Cuesta directed film is preparing for an unspecified 2018 release date. This is a sure sign of O'Brien bouncing back from adversity, as the actor was previously injured on the set of The Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Said injury was a result of a botched automotive stunt that had not only left O'Brien incapacitated, but also shut down production for some time.
American Assassin is the first entry in chronological order and the 11th in the publishing order of the currently 15 book series featuring Mitch Rapp. A prequel to the rest of the series, the novel sees a young Rapp reeling from the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and using the attack as inspiration to join the ranks of the American clandestine services. Seeing as the film series is starting with this prequel entry in Flynn's best-selling series, there's a good chance that we'll be seeing this story updated to more modern context.
The powers that be have been trying to get American Assassin off the ground for several years now, with Chris Hemsworth originally being sought after for the Mitch Rapp role and Bruce Willis previously in the mix for the role of Rapp's Cold War forged mentor, Stan Hurley. Now, Dylan O'Brien is playing Rapp, with Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton playing the role of Hurley, and Sanaa Lathan playing their boss, Deputy Director Irene Kennedy. The cast of American Assassin is rounded out by Shiva Negar, as a Turkish intelligence agent who teams with Rapp on his mission, and Taylor Kitsch as the "mysterious operative" who's set on catastrophically destabilizing relations in the Middle East.
With the legacy of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan being relegated to TV, there's plenty of room for a new cinematic CIA player to provide the world with the pulse pounding spy action they crave. American Assassin is scheduled for an undetermined release window in 2018, which is the same year Dylan O'Brien's tenure in The Maze Runner finishes up with the release of The Maze Runner: The Death Cure. That final film in the popular YA series will be released on January 12, 2018.