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Blake Lively to Play Assassin in New Movie From ‘James Bond’ Producers

Variety logo Variety 7/12/2017 Justin Kroll
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Blake Lively is attached to star in the spy thriller “The Rhythm Section” from director Reed Morano, and “James Bond” producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

IM Global will finance the film with Wilson and Broccoli producing through their Eon Productions banner, with IM Global co-founder Stuart Ford exec producing along with Greg Shapiro and Mark Burnell.

The movie is a contemporary adaptation of the first of Burnell’s “Stephanie Patrick” British series of four novels. Lively will play the titular heroine, who’s on a path to self-destruction after the death of her family in an airplane crash — a flight that she was meant to be on. After discovering that the crash wasn’t an accident, her anger awakens a new sense of purpose as she becomes an assassin to track down those responsible. Other novels in Burnell’s popular series include “Gemini,” “The Third Woman,” and “Chameleon.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing Mark Burnell’s ‘The Rhythm Section’ to the big screen with our partners at IM Global,” Broccoli and Wilson said. “It is exciting for us to be working with the immensely talented team of director Reed Morano and actress who have a strong vision for this very compelling story driven by a female protagonist.”

Morano received critical acclaim for helming several episodes of the hit Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“In Stephanie Patrick, Mark has created a unique female heroine who turns so many of the current cinematic clichés surrounding so-called ‘kick-ass’ female leads on their head,” Ford said. “To be bringing such a fresh, realistic, and bold international thriller to the big screen with EON Productions, Reed, and Blake is an exciting proposition for us all at IM Global.”

The film will begin production this fall and will likely shoot in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Spain, and Switzerland.

Lively most recently starred in “The Shallows” and will appear next in “All I See Is You” opposite Jason Clarke.

WME represents Eon Productions, Morano, and Lively. Lively is also represented by Management 360. IM Global and WME Global are handling the worldwide rights.

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