EXCLUSIVE: After trying since 2008 to turn Vince Flynn’s bestselling novel series into an action franchise, CBS Films thinks it has found the actor to play terrorist hunter Mitch Rapp. I’m told that CBS Films has offered Chris Hemsworth $10 million to star in American Assassin.
While it is the 11th book in Flynn’s series of espionage novels, American Assassin is an ideal place to start a movie franchise. The novel is a prequel that explains how tragedy transformed Rapp from a college scholar and athlete into a ruthless hunter of terrorists for the CIA. Bruce Willis is also in talks, to play Rapp’s mentor. The film will be directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, who has covered the terrorist hunting terrain directing episodes of Showtime’s Homeland and also helming the Don Cheadle thriller Traitor. Nachmanoff also co-wrote with Roland Emmerich The Day After Tomorrow and helmed the pilot for the Dick Wolf-produced NBC series Chicago Fire.
The most recent script draft was written by Mike Finch, who took over a draft written by Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, when Zwick was going to direct. CBS Films Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler are producing.
Hemsworth is proving to be a go-to young guy for big ticket Hollywood fare, particularly after he was part of the blockbuster The Avengers and also Snow White And The Huntsman. He’s shooting a Thor sequel and then will star in the Steven Spielberg-directed Robopocalypse, with Anne Hathaway. Let’s see how this one plays out.
EXCLUSIVE: Ed Zwick is out and Jeffrey Nachmanoff is in as director of American Assassin, the adaptation of the Vince Flynn novel that CBS Films hopes will launch a film franchise based on CIA agent Mitch Rapp. Zwick came aboard … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has acquired Flight 75, a pitch for a thriller that will be directed by The Grudge helmer Takashi Shimizu. Project was bought on a treatment by Shimizu and a writer will be set momentarily. It is described … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has redrawn its plans to launch a film franchise based on the Vince Flynn novel series about CIA agent and Mitch Rapp. Ed Zwick has come aboard to direct an adaptation of American Assassin, a bestseller published … Read More »
At the Simon & Schuster division Atria Books, Emily Bestler has been promoted to editor and chief and senior vice president, and she has gotten her own imprint–Emily Bestler Books–which will debut this spring. She has been with S&S for … Read More »
The book-to-movie business is kicking back into gear. Hoping for another Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, New Regency has just acquired Three Seconds, part of a bestselling Swedish crime novel series by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom. Shine will produce and they will set a writer quickly. In Three Seconds, an ex-con who works undercover for the Stockholm police is charged with breaking the Polish mob’s stranglehold on amphetamine dealing in Sweden prisons. The ex-con gets himself arrested so he can infiltrate the mob in a maximum security prison. Beyond the fact his wife is unaware he’s working undercover, the operative’s challenge is to crack the ring and get out before he’s exposed. The book is the fifth novel in the series, was named Sweden’s top crime novel of 2009. The author team is intriguing, considering one’s a former journalist, the other an ex-criminal.The book was published by Silver Oak. Shine’s Sue Swift brought the book to Regency’s Michelle Kroes to get the deal started and Dan Wilson will oversee for Regency.
In other deals, a film option deal was made for Cutting For Stone, the Abraham Verghese novel optioned by Anonymous Content for its production company.
And Warner Bros and CBS Films will try to turn Stephen King’s celebrated novel The Stand into a feature. Given the spectacularly restrictive budgets that have forced CBS Films to rely on forgettable films like The Back-Up Plan and Extraordinary Measures, it seems likely Warner Bros will have to put up the dough for this to get off the ground. Even then, King’s apocalyptic epic will be very difficult to compress into a feature film, which is why it previously was turned into a 1994 TV miniseries. Each time I write about CBS Films, the question lingers: why did Les Moonves bother to form a feature division in the first place and hire away a capable exec like Amy Baer from Sony only to hobble her by not taking any big swings? Baer has a franchise percolating in Vince Flynn’s Consent to Kill, which focuses on ruthless government operative Mitch Rapp. It’s a Jack Ryan waiting to happen, but though CBS Films last year had discussions with Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Lost‘s Matthew Fox for the Rapp role, it still hasn’t happened. A lot has to do with the need to secure a partner. Hey, Les? In the movie business, it’s no guts, no glory. Deadline has heard that a “reconfiguring” is coming to the still struggling movie unit. CBS Films will make more acquisitions to fill the pipeline. Read More »