Paramount Pictures is reportedly taking initiative as of Wednesday’s news regarding potential spy thriller franchise, The Rhythm Section, which has The Shallows star Blake Lively headlining for The Handmaid’s Tale helmer Reed Morano. In a deal brokered by WME Global, the studio is boarding the film in partnership with IM Global and EON Productions whose Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (James Bond/007 film series) will mark this as their first-ever step outward into a new IP, and with a female lead no less.
The book series, for which the film is being pitched as in the vein of Jason Bourne and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, has four installments to date, published by HarperCollins as of 1999 along with efforts reported as early as 2005 by New Line Cinema to advance an adaptation of their own that never came through. Stuart Ford is executive producing along with Greg Shapiro and British author Mark Burnell who penned the book series and is also scripting. Paramount will release the film in most territories worldwide on a date to be determined.
Lively plays a woman who is on a path of self-destruction after her family dies in a plane crash — a flight that she was supposed to be on. After being told by a journalist that the crash was an act of terror covered up by intelligence agencies, and then watching that journalist get killed, the woman’s anger awakens a new sense of purpose and she rises to uncover the truth by adapting the identity of an assassin to track down those responsible. The new and lethal Stephanie Patrick is on a mission to fill the void between what she knows and what she is told.
Cameras reportedly start rolling this Fall with previous reports citing locations slated for the U.S. and U.K., as well as Ireland, Spain and Switzerland. (Deadline)
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