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Michael B Jordan to Star as Hitman in The Silver Bear

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger in Black Panther

These days, everyone wants to be John Wick. Just a day after the release of the first trailer for Miss Bala, which casts Gina Rodriguez as a female Wick-like character, comes the announcement that Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan will star in The Silver Bear as a seasoned, skilled hitman.

Adapted from the first novel in a series by Derek Haas, the scribe behind many of NBC’s Chicago-based procedurals, the film follows a hitman named Columbus who earned the Silver Bear moniker after years of perfect, clean kills. He’s never had an issue killing in the past -- until he’s tasked with assassinating a presidential candidate who factors into Columbus’ own past. The film doesn’t yet have a director, but Frank Baldwin is set to adapt the novel for the screen.

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This will be the first chance for Jordan, who earned acclaim for his role as Erik Killmonger in Black Panther earlier this year, to take the sole spotlight in an action film. After proving his chops with fight choreography as Killmonger and Adonis Creed, it’s an exciting step forward for the actor. In a statement to Deadline, Nickel City Pictures co-founder Vishal Rungta spoke about how vital Jordan is to the film.

“We could not be more excited to work with Michael and Lionsgate,” said Rungta. “We have been huge fans of Michael all the way back to his days in The Wire, and from our first meeting we knew that he was the perfect fit for the role of Columbus.”

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With a certain degree of star power behind it, Silver Bear could be a force to reckon with in the race to find a successor to Keanu Reeves’ John Wick series, which is set to wrap up in May. That series helped repopularize the “one hitman versus the world” narrative for modern audiences, and also introduced many Americans to the kinetic, hand-to-hand hyper-violent sensibilities of Asian action cinema. Given that Drew Pearce’s Wick-inspired Hotel Artemis failed to recoup its budget this July, it looks like the race to find the successor might be Jordan’s for the taking.

The Silver Bear will star Michael B. Jordan in a script from Frank Baldwin, adapted from the novel by Derek Haas. Jordan will produce with Vishal and Ankur Rungta as well as Mark Fasano. Jordan can next be seen in Creed II, out Nov. 21.

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