Belfast Telegraph

Blake Lively adopts assassin’s identity in movie from Bond producers

The announcement comes as uncertainty surrounds the casting of a new 007, with suggestions that Daniel Craig could reprise his role.

Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has announced a female spy thriller starring Blake Lively.

The Rhythm Section, described as a “female-driven international espionage thriller”, adapts the first of British writer Mark Burnell’s Stephanie Patrick series of novels to the big screen.

Michael G Wilson and Broccoli, who worked on the last eight Bond films including Spectre and Skyfall, will produce.

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Blake Lively (Matt Crossick/PA)

Former Gossip Girl actress Lively, 29, will play heroine Stephanie Patrick, who is on a path of self-destruction after her family dies in a plane crash, a flight that she was meant to be on.

She sets out to uncover the truth, adopting the identity of an assassin, after discovering that the crash was not an accident.

The announcement comes as uncertainty surrounds the casting of a new 007, with suggestions that Daniel Craig could reprise his role.

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Daniel Craig on the red carpet (Matt Crossick/PA)

The movie will be filmed in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland and the US, and will be directed by Reed Morano, whose credits include the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale.

In a joint statement, Wilson and Broccoli said they were “thrilled” to be adapting the book.

“It is exciting for us to be working with the immensely talented team of director Reed Morano and actress Blake Lively who have a strong vision for this very compelling story driven by a female protagonist,” they said.

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Barbara Broccoli (Ian West/PA)

Stuart Ford, founder of IM Global, which is producing alongside Eon Productions, said: “Mark (Burnell) has created a unique female heroine who turns so many of the current cinematic cliches surrounding so-called ‘kick-ass’ female leads on their head.”

Lively’s recent credits include The Shallows and Woody Allen’s Cafe Society.

Other novels in Burnell’s popular series of four Stephanie Patrick stories include Gemini, The Third Woman and Chameleon.

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