Michael Keaton to Star in ‘American Assassin’ Movie Adaptation

Michael Keaton American Assassin
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Michael Keaton will star in CBS Films and Lionsgate’s adaptation of the classic novel series “American Assassin.”

“Kill the Messenger” helmer Michael Cuesta will direct the thriller from a screenplay by Stephen Schiff. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler are producing the film.

Based on Vince Flynn’s novel, the movie follows Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Keaton), who would be the most feared training officer in the CIA if more than a handful of people at the agency actually knew of his existence. As the story begins, Hurley’s deputy director tasks him with training a black ops recruit devastated by the loss of his fiancée to a terrorist attack. The pair is eventually dispatched on a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative from starting World War III in the Middle East.

Published by Atria Books and in paperback by Pocket Books, both imprints of Simon & Schuster, “American Assassin” is one of 14 novels set in the world of counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp. Each has been a New York Times bestseller, while the three most recent entries have been No. 1 on the New York Times charts. The series has sold nearly 20 million copies to date.

“Stan Hurley is one of the pillars of the Vince Flynn universe and a favorite character for millions of readers, so casting him was a daunting challenge,” said Cuesta. “To have an actor as intelligent and gifted as Michael Keaton bring this beloved character to life is a thrill for everyone involved in ‘American Assassin’ and a cause for celebration amongst Hurley fans the world over.”

Keaton has stuck to prestige pics as of late with both “Birdman” and “Spotlight” winning the last two best picture Oscars. While “American Assassin” is a more commercial movie, his next pic, “The Founder,” which follows the rise of McDonald’s mogul Ray Croc, is expected to be an awards season contender.

Keaton is represented by ICM Partners, Anonymous Content and Wendy Kirk at Ziffren Brittenham.

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  1. VermontGirl says:

    Keaton can do the rough sided Hurley – can’t wait to see him.

    As far as Mitch Rapp is concerned….how ’bout Oscar Isaac?

  2. Really looking forward to the movie, the Flynn books are terrific. Not sure he is the right choice, when I read the book I pictured of a gruff, burly, overweight so we’ll see.

  3. JJ says:

    Michael Keaton to play Stan Hurley? He didn’t even make the list among reader favorites! Bad choice. Fans wanted Chris Cooper according to The Bookcaster.

    • Just remember JJ…it was the kind of underestimating comments that led Keaton to be remembered as one of the best incarnations of Batman. ;)

      • TL Box says:

        Yeah Keaton is versatile enough to pull this role off convincingly. I remember when all the Batman fanboys whined and protested Tim Burton’s choice of Keaton for Bruce Wayne and he shut them up with his strong performance there too….no worries Michael Keaton is a fine choice for Stan Hurley.

    • WHATT says:

      Chris Cooper as Hurley is really cliche and obvious. Keaton is more of a left and interesting choice.

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