Michael Keaton to Star in 'American Assassin'

Michael Keaton is set to star in "American Assassin," an adaptation of the Vince Flynn thriller novel from CBS Films and Lionsgate.

According to Deadline, the Oscar nominee won't play the title character Mitch Rapp, the ruthless young CIA operative tasked with thwarting terrorist attacks, but rather Stan Hurley, the Cold War veteran who trained him.

The first in a proposed big-screen franchise, the film is based on Flynn's 2010 novel "American Assassin" -- the 11th in the Mitch Rapp series -- which explores the operative's back story, as his girlfriend is killed killed in a terrorist attack, opening the door for his recruitment out of college to be trained by Hurley to work (at first unofficially) for the CIA.

Production is targeted to begin this summer, with Michael Cuesta ("Kill the Messenger," "Homeland") directing.

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