American Assassins Obrien

See Dylan O’Brien Become Mitch Rapp in This “American Assassin” Featurette

Hollywood has tried to bring Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp series to the big screen for nearly a decade, with actors like Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Chris Hemsworth attached at various points. But with the publication of the 2010 prequel American Assassin, producers looked for a younger actor to take on the iconic tough-guy role.

Dylan O'Brien, star of MTV's Teen Wolf, landed the part in 2016 while he was recovering from an on-set injury while filming the final film in the Maze Runner series. Like his character in the film, O'Brien trained to go from a somewhat scrawny kid into a ripped, highly skilled badass.

Rapp's character becomes a vigilante after his girlfriend is killed by terrorists. His action gets noticed by a CIA deputy director (Sanaa Lathan), who has him train under one of their longtime operatives (Michael Keaton), who's still haunted by the student who turned into a terrorist himself (Taylor Kitsch).

Check out the video below to see O'Brien's transformation.

American Assassin hits theaters September 15.

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About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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