Shiva Negar - American Assassin
Shiva Negar

There has been a lot of talk about the adaptation of Vince Flynn’s American Assassin, much of it obviously because the Mitch Rapp franchise of books has done exceedingly well, but also because the casting news has made people wonder.

Fans of the series have wondered about Maze Runner star, Dylan O’Brien filling the role, but were apparently just as quick to hold out hope with Michael Keaton on board.

CBS Films and Lionsgate have now announced two more actors, and their roles, which rounds out the main players in the film.

Sanaa Lathan will play Irene Kennedy, the CIA Deputy Director who puts Rapp and his mentor, Stan Hurley (Keaton), on the case in question, and Shiva Negar is the Turkish agent who puts them onto the mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) who is apparently behind trying to kick off a war in the Middle East.

Sanaa Lathan - American Assassin
Sanaa Lathan – photo: Derek Banks


If the film can truly do justice to the books, Hollywood may have another major franchise to work with, and given that there are enough titles already to keep us going for decades, there’s a lot riding on this one.



CBS Films and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) announced today that Sanaa Lathan (The Perfect Guy, Now You See Me 2) and Shiva Negar (Four In The Morning, The Art Of More) are joining Dylan O’Brien (Deepwater Horizon, The Maze Runner), Academy Award®-nominee Michael Keaton (Birdman, Spotlight) and Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor, True Detective) in the adaptation of Vince Flynn’s massive bestseller AMERICAN ASSASSIN.
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Acclaimed filmmaker Michael Cuesta (Kill The Messenger, Homeland, L.I.E.) will direct the thriller from a screenplay by Stephen Schiff (The Americans, Ultimate Rush). Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, Deepwater Horizon, Salt) and Nick Wechsler (The Road, Magic Mike) are producing the film.

AMERICAN ASSASSIN follows the rise of Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) a CIA black ops recruit under the instruction of Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). The pair is then enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets. Together the three discover a pattern in the violence leading them to a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent (Shiva Negar) to stop a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) intent on starting a World War in the Middle East.
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Published by Atria Books and in mass market paperback by Pocket Books, both imprints of Simon & Schuster, AMERICAN ASSASSIN is one of fifteen novels set in the world of counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp. Every single one has been a New York Times bestseller, the three most recent entries have been number one New York Times bestsellers and the series has sold nearly twenty million copies to date.

“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.”
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Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.