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Ed Zwick To Direct Potential Franchise Starter 'American Assassin'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 8, 2011 at 1:47AM

Fledgling studio CBS Films has had a bumpy ride. Their releases to date have been a string of poorly received efforts like "Extraordinary Measures," "The Back-Up Plan," "Faster" and "Beastly" but in a bid to play with the big boys, they are hoping to get a franchise off the ground, nabbing an Oscar nominated director to get the ball rolling.
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Fledgling studio CBS Films has had a bumpy ride. Their releases to date have been a string of poorly received efforts like "Extraordinary Measures," "The Back-Up Plan," "Faster" and "Beastly" but in a bid to play with the big boys, they are hoping to get a franchise off the ground, nabbing an Oscar nominated director to get the ball rolling.

Deadline reports that Ed Zwick has been tapped to direct "American Assassin" based on the novel by Vince Flynn, about a maverick, unorthodox CIA terrorist hunter Mitch Rapp. The author has penned a dozen novels so far about the character, but "American Assassin" published last year is a prequel of sorts, describing how Mitch Rapp got his start, effectively making a good starting point for any movie version.

If this all sounds vaguely familiar, that's because CBS Films has been trying to get a Mitch Rapp film going for a while now. At the start of 2010, they tapped Antoine Fuqua to direct another book in the series, "Consent To Kill" with Colin Farrell, Gerard Butler and Matthew Fox all angling for part last spring. But with the character now much younger, the idea is that CBS Films and Zwick will now go after a young leading male for the part.

We're not yet sold on the concept as a whole -- a franchise about a terrorist hunter? Meh. Not to mention that Zwick tends to be wildly inconsistent. But if Zwick and regular writing and producing partner Marshall Herskovitz can knock out a good script from the pulpy material, we'd be interested to see what kind of spin they bring to the story.

This article is related to: Films, Ed Zwick, American Assassin


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