Since her days on Gossip Girl, Blake Lively has worked not just to establish herself as a movie actress, but as a movie star. Ventures like The Age of Adaline and more recently The Shallows have put her on the map as a bona fide lead. Now, we've learned she's set to star in The Rhythm Section, a new movie from Handmaid's Tale director Reed Moran and from the producers of the James Bond movies. Even better? The female spy premise is expected to translate into a franchise should the first movie do well.
News broke this week that Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will produce The Rhythm Section. The spy thriller is based on the first of Mark Burnell's Stephanie Patrick novels, and will follow Blake Lively as the destructive heroine. Lethal and determined, Stephanie Patrick will become an assassin only after learning that the flight that killed her family was not actually an accident. (In the book a bomb is what takes the lives of those near and dear to her.) Stephanie was supposed to also be on that flight, and she will track down those responsible.
The movie sounds a wee bit similar to the upcoming American Assassin, as the backstory of the lead character in that movie follows a young man who loses his girlfriend in a terrorist attack and wants to track down those who were responsible. Due to the terrorist angle, the movies should diverge from there, plus The Rhythm Section will have a female lead, of course, taking it down a different path.
The hope with a lot of assassin types of movies is that they can expand out into a larger property that will keep butts in theater seats. Mark Burnell has written four books so far in the series, also including The Third Woman, Chameleon and Gemini. Mark Burnell and Stuart Ford will also executive produce, alongside the James Bond producers.
The Rhythm Section should be an interesting change of pace for Blake Lively. While her husband Ryan Reynolds notably delved into action with Deadpool last year, Lively has more often been in the sidelines of action films than as the lead, with the aforementioned The Shallows as an exception. Then again, filming in the water can be grueling, but it's not the same sort of action as an assassin film, as Charlize Theron and her broken teeth on the set of Atomic Blonde would corroborate.
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are definitely an it-couple in Hollywood right now, and it would be nice if both of them could be a part of franchises with a little longevity. Of course, The Rhythm Section was just announced, so it'll be a bit before it hits the big screen. For now, you can take a look at what other movies are coming up with our full schedule.