Lively will star as Stephanie Patrick, a woman hunting down the terrorist responsible for killing her family.
Blake Lively will now being adding "assassin" to her acting resume. There's still a good chance that she'll run in heels, though. "It is exciting for us to be working with the immensely talented team of director Reed Morano and actress who have a strong vision for this very compelling story driven by a female protagonist".
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In a total 180-degree genre move, Lively will play a badass worldwide assassin in the upcoming adaptation of The Rhythm Section, which is being produced by the people behind the recent James Bond films.
There are four books in the Stephanie Patrick series, raising the possibility of a Bond-style series of movies - if the first is successful.
With three other books in the series, producers are hoping it will follow in the footsteps of Bond become a franchise.More news: Funeral home shut down amid reports of maggots, decomposing bodies
The Rhythm Section will be executive produced by Burnell, along with Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), the production head of independent studio IM Global. She is a lauded cinematographer as well, known for her work on Frozen River, Kill Your Darlings and Shut Up and Play the Hits.
The film's executive producer Stuart Ford said of the up-coming film: "In Stephanie Patrick, Mark has created a unique female heroine who turns so numerous current cinematic clichés surrounding so-called 'kick-ass" female leads on their head.
WME represents Eon Productions, Morano, and Lively.
The move from lighter fare to a hard action role is also something that Lively's husband Ryan Reynolds has made in recent years, transitioning from a strictly comedic actor to a Marvel frontman thanks to Deadpool.
"The Rhythm Section" is set to go into production later this year.