‘American Assassin’ Cast: Who Is Taylor Kitsch Playing?

American Assassin is the new fall thriller set to open in theaters, September 15. The film stars Teen Wolf actor Dylan O’Brien as CIA recruit, Mitch Rapp, and Michael Keaton as his handler, Stan Hurley. So who is Taylor Kitsch playing?

The full-length trailer reveals key details about Kitsch’s role in the movie. Before getting into the details of what it reveals, let’s address what American Assassin is about. The film is an adaptation of late writer Vince Flynn’s spy novel of the same name. The story follows Mitch Rapp (O’Brien), whose life is forever altered when his girlfriend is murdered in a terrorist attack.

Out to avenge her, Rapp is eventually recruited by CIA deputy director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to become an operative. He is then mentored by one of the CIA’s best, Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton).

When Rapp and Hurley go on their latest mission, they are met by an unlikely adversary. That enemy turns out to be a former ally, who Keaton’s character refers to in the trailer as “Ghost.”

Portraying Ghost is actor Taylor Kitsch. The previous trailer for American Assassin had mainly focused on O’Brien’s Rapp with a brief glimpse of Kitsch’s character, which did not give away a great deal about Ghost or his agenda.

Promotional still of Michael Keaton as Stan Hurley in the movie 'American Assassin'

Thanks to the second trailer you can watch on IMDB, potential movie-goers can see that Ghost is out for his own revenge, against Hurley. In the trailer, there is a brief shot of Ghost revealing his back, which appears to be severely ravaged by the scars of a brutal beating. Ghost then says that Hurley “should have come” for him.

CBS Film’s website includes the official synopsis for the movie, which better explains the end game of Kitsch’s “mysterious operative.” You can read it in its entirety below.

American Assassin follows the rise of Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien), a CIA black ops recruit under the instruction of Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). The pair is then enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets.”

“Together the three discover a pattern in the violence leading them to a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent (Shiva Negar) to stop a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) intent on starting a World War.”

American Assassin marks a major return to the silver screen for the Friday Night Lights alum. It is Kitsch’s first role in a live-action feature film, since 2013’s Lone Survivor.

Kitsch’s last role in a TV series was in the highly-publicized second season of HBO’s True Detective, which ran during the summer of 2015. His breakout role came on the fan favorite NBC series Friday Night Lights as Tim Riggins. That series premiered in 2006 and concluded in 2011.

Promotional still of actor Dylan O'Brien as Mitch Rapp in the movie 'American Assassin'

American Assassin is not the only movie Kitsch is starring in that is set for a 2017 release. The Canadian actor will next star in Only the Brave, which is scheduled to be released on October 20. That drama is based on a real-life tragedy that befell a group of firefighters known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots during a blaze in Arizona, circa 2013. You can watch the trailer for it on YouTube here.

Kitsch will be taking on a completely different role from Only the Brave in American Assassin, as the latter film’s central antagonist. Will Mitch Rapp succeed in taking down Ghost? Find out when American Assassin hits theaters on September 15.

[Featured Image by Christian Black/CBS Films and Lionsgate]