Blake Lively to Star in Female Spy Franchise From James Bond Producers

“The Handmaid’s Tale” director Reed Morano on board for first film from EON Productions, IM Global

Blake Lively rhythm section
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Blake Lively has landed an extremely pedigreed film franchise, based on a series of spy novels from the same producers of the James Bond films.

Lively will star in “The Rhythm Section,” adapted from Mark Burnell’s series about character Stephanie Patrick — a woman scorned by the loss of her family in a mysterious plane crash.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” director Reed Morano will direct the first film in the series. Burnell, who serves as executive producer, has four books total.

IM Global is on board as financier, with Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions producing.

More to come. Read the full announcement:

Production will begin later this year on a new female driven international espionage thriller THE RHYTHM SECTION, with financing from leading independent studio IM Global, it was announced today by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions in London and IM Global Founder and CEO, Stuart Ford in Los Angeles.

Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, who have produced the last eight Bond films including Spectre and Skyfall, will produce. Ford and IM Global’s Academy Award® winning head of production Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, upcoming Detroit) and author/screenwriter Mark Burnell will serve as executive producers.

THE RHYTHM SECTION is a contemporary adaptation of the first of British thriller writer Mark Burnell’s “Stephanie Patrick” series of four novels. Heroine, Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively) is on a path of self-destruction after the death of her family in an airplane crash, a flight that she was meant to be on. After discovering that the crash was not an accident, her anger awakens a new sense of purpose and she rises to uncover the truth by adapting the identity of an assassin to track down those responsible. The new, and lethal, Stephanie Patrick is on a mission to fill the void between what she knows and what she is told. Other novels in Burnell’s popular series include “Gemini”, “The Third Woman” and “Chameleon”.

Blake Lively most recently starred in the worldwide box office hit The Shallows for Sony Pictures, which garnered her a People’s Choice Award. That same summer, she appeared in Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, which premiered at Cannes. Lionsgate’s The Age of Adaline, for which Lively played the title character, was also a box office success. She received praise for her performance in Warner Brothers’ The Town. Other films on her resume include Rebecca Miller’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films based on the best-selling YA novels by Ann Brashares. She is currently in pre-production in director Paul Feig’s film A Simple Favor for Lionsgate.

Reed Morano recently served as a director and executive producer of the of the first three episodes of critically acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu and MGM based on Margaret Atwood’s book. The New York Times described Morano’s work on the show as “unflinching, vital and scary as hell.” One of Playlists’ 20 Best Breakthrough Directors of 2015, Morano also earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for cinematography in her stunning directorial debut Meadowland starring Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson, where she also served as the film’s cinematographer. In June of 2017, Morano was presented with the Distinguished Vanguard Filmmaker Award at the UCLA Directors Spotlight.