Vince Flynn vs. Gerard Butler

Vince Flynn movie causes confluence of two fan bases

When CBS Films optioned the rights to Vince Flynn’s novel Consent to Kill they set in motion what is probably just another day for Hollywood.  But for fans of the author, there was a lot of excitement about his Mitch Rapp character finally coming to the big screen.  As much as most of us rue the outcome of our favorite books when they become movies, we still want desperately to see them made.  You never know, this may be a book whose movie turns out to be another Shawshank Redemption.  We’ve been watching Consent to Kill develop over the months and it’s turned into a fascinating peek into how a book goes from page to screen.  The ongoing casting debate on various message boards across the internet provides another angle on the pressures of turning popular source material into a film.  We’re a little obsessed with the whole process, to be honest.

Mitch who?

That’s Mitch Rapp, of course.  The tough as nails main character in Consent to Kill as well as  a number of other Flynn novels.  He’s the main draw for a lot of fans, kicking ass and taking names.  Once the development of the film project was announced immediate speculation began as to who would be cast in the lead role.  It was that speculation that led us to where we are today – no cast has been announced but there have been enough rumors that Gerard Butler has become a front-runner in the minds of both Flynn and Butler fans.

What if?

So what happens if someone besides Butler is cast?  Which fan base is bigger and more the driving force behind interest in the movie?  Right now some people are saying that if Butler is not Mitch Rapp, they won’t see the movie.  Some people are only interested in the movie because of the speculation that Butler will play the lead.  Others are straight up Flynn fans who will see the movie no matter who is cast.  It makes me wonder about other books that have been made into movies.  Would Twilight fans have boycotted the movie had Henry Cavill (an English actor originally considered for the role) been cast as Edward Cullen?  What if Robin Williams had been cast to play Jack Torrence in The Shining (yes, he was considered)?  How about if Tom Hanks (who was originally offered the role) played Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams?

Does casting director know best?

The best movies are those that make us say, “I can’t imagine anyone else playing that character”.  Someone, somewhere did exactly that – imagined perhaps dozens of people playing the character and managed to choose just the right one.  So as we speculate as to whether Butler will play the role of Mitch Rapp in Vince Flynn’s Consent to Kill, there’s a casting director somewhere pulling his or her hair out, trying to manage schedules, please directors, writers, authors and fans in an attempt to create that magical connection between character and actor that turns both into icons.  Good luck, casting director, whoever you are, for skepticism will abound and internet chatter will call for heads on platters if Mitch Rapp is not played by Gerard Butler.  Then again, if internet pressure had been around back in 1984 we may well have seen Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones.  Maybe we should be hoping that whoever is casting Consent to Kill is immune to the rumor mill. Other posts about the Vince Flynn movie Consent to Kill: George mentions the movie as part of a Hollywood Stock Exchange post. Sue talks about the casting debate. George gives everyone an update on the movie’s progress.

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