Sanaa Lathan Now you see me
Shaughn and John for Variety

Sanaa Lathan has come on board CBS Films-Lionsgate’s “American Assassin” to portray CIA Deputy director Irene Kennedy.

She joins Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton and Taylor Kitsch. “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 (Lathan) 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 be played by actress Shiva Negar — 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, who is being portrayed by O’Brien. The Kennedy character is in all the novels.

“Vince Flynn created a universe populated by complex yet relatable characters who inspired millions of fans the world over,” said Cuesta. “To have an actress of Sanaa Lathan’s depth and intensity step into the role of Kennedy while simultaneously having the opportunity to introduce audiences to the extraordinary talent of Shiva Negar means that Flynn’s vision of powerful but believable individuals remains the foundation of ‘American Assassin.’”

Lathan was last seen in “Now You See Me 2.” She is repped by ICM Partners. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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