MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A late Minnesota author’s best-selling novel is finally coming alive on the big screen.

St. Paul native Vince Flynn’s “American Assassin” books debuted in 1999 and soared to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Now, a movie featuring the fictional terrorism fighter Mitch Rapp is about to hit screens nationwide.

Mitch Rapp is played by New Jersey native Dylan O’Brien.

dylan obrien How St. Paul Native Vince Flynns American Assassin Made It To The Screen

(credit: CBS)

“His whole path starts from this damage and this pain that he experiences and there is something so incredibly human about him,” O’Brien said about his character.

The themes of the movie are relevant across the world today.

“It’s a really very, very current and ubiquitous thing that the world is dealing with at this point,” O’Brien said. “You got to be sensitive to that and you hold a huge responsibility with that so I wanted to really make sure that we went about it in the smartest way we could.”

The characters were born right here in Minnesota, where Flynn poured his creative genius into his political thrillers which sold more than 20 million copies.

“It means everything and I’m incredibly honored to be playing this character and bring him to life,” O’Brien said.

Flynn passed away from prostate cancer in 2013, but his wife Lisa and family now get to watch his work live on the big screen.

“She means the world to me and her support means the world to all of us,” O’Brien said. “I’m happy with the film and if other people are happy with the film, OK, but if they weren’t that would be rough. So having Lisa’s support, having the family’s support, that’s the whole thing.”

Friday night’s premiere will be at the Rosedale AMC where Flynn’s family will watch.

The movie officially hits theaters next Friday, Sept. 15.

A sequel may already be in the works.


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