Who will have consent to kill: Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell or Matthew Fox?

With the BOURNE series slumbering, all the studios are looking for their own commercially palatable espionage-loaded action-guy franchise.

CBS Films is trying to find the best candidate to exercise his trigger finger as CIA gunman Mitch Rapp, from Vince Flynn's bestselling series of Ludlum-like mainstream thriller books. According to Deadline, the studio has Gerard Butler in their sights, with Colin Farrell and Matthew Fox (whose schedule is about to become free of "Lost") also on their shortlist.

In CONSENT TO KILL, CIA assassin Mitch Rapp battles a Saudi billionaire bent on revenge, an ex–East German Stasi spy and a deadly husband-and-wife team of assassins. There's a $20-million contract out on Mitch's head, and to add injury to insult, he hurts his leg during a morning run. After a knee operation and an even more serious mishap, Mitch is out of the hospital and hot on the trail of the evildoers. Besides terrorists and assassins, Mitch has to deal with a difficult new director of intelligence, and a pregnant wife.

Antoine Fuqua, somehow still cruising on his TRAINING DAY success, is directing (I'm sure Paramount thought his SHOOTER was going to launch a franchise). Keanu Reeves and "Mad Men" star John Hamm were also previously in the Rapp mix.

Peter Oberth
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