Mitch Rapp

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Mitch Rapp
First appearance American Assassin
Created by Vince Flynn
Nickname(s) Iron Man
Aliases Mitch Kruse
Gender Male
Occupation Counter Terrorism Operative
Title Special Assistant to the Director of the CIA on Counterterrorism
Family Steven Rapp (Brother)
Spouse(s) Anna Rielly (From Executive Power to Consent to Kill)

Mitch Rapp is a fictional character in a series of novels by Vince Flynn and in the planned film adaptation of American Assassin (previously Consent to Kill).[1]

The character first appeared in Transfer of Power.

Character introduction[edit]

Mitch Rapp is a counter-terrorism operative[2] employed, first unofficially then officially, by the CIA. The primary focus of the character is thwarting Middle Eastern terrorist attacks on the United States and he is presented as an aggressive operative who is willing to take measures that are more extreme than might be considered commonly acceptable.

Character sketch[edit]


Rapp's high school sweetheart Maureen Eliot, who was attending Syracuse University with Rapp, was killed in the December 21, 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. She had been one of thirty-five Syracuse students returning from a semester overseas. One year later he was recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency by Irene Kennedy.


Over the course of the series Rapp terminates a large number of terrorists both on foreign and domestic soil. His main conflicts center on foriegn terrorists.

Biographical summary[edit]

Prior story[edit]

Rapp attended Syracuse University, where he majored in international business and minored in French. He attended the college on a lacrosse scholarship[3] and was an All-American. Rapp was also offered a scholarship by the University of North Carolina, but turned that one down because his high school sweetheart Maureen was attending Syracuse with the hope of getting into broadcasting. Maureen, whom Rapp had known since he was fifteen years old, was killed in the December 21, 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. She had been one of thirty-five Syracuse students returning from a semester overseas.

Nearly a year after Maureen's death, Rapp was recruited into the CIA by Irene Kennedy. He began training the week after graduating from Syracuse. Only twenty-three years old at the time, Rapp did not go through the standard CIA training program at "The Farm," outside Williamsburg, Virginia. Instead, for a year straight he was shuttled from one location to the next, sometimes spending a week, sometimes a month. The bulk of the training was handled by Stan Hurley, a former CIA operative, who taught him "how to shoot, stab, blow things up, and even kill with his bare hands." In other words, he was schooled in firearms and marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, and explosives. Endurance was stressed. There were long swims and even longer runs. Between all the heavy lifting, they worked on his foreign language skills. Since he had minored in French at Syracuse, within a month at the CIA he was fluent in the language. He was then taught Arabic and Persian and can passably speak Urdu and Pashto. He also speaks German and Italian. He is ambidextrous, but naturally left-handed.

Rapp then became an operative of the Orion Team, a highly secretive organization supported by the CIA but outside the Agency. It is funded by money that has been diverted out of congressionally funded programs. The job of the Orion Team in a nutshell is to take the war to the terrorists. It was formed in response to the Lockerbie disaster by the then CIA director of operations Thomas Stansfield. The unit operates in secret, independent of the U.S. national security apparatus and circumvents the leviathan of politics and gets around small impediments like the executive order banning assassinations. The team is headed by Rapp's recruiter, Irene Kennedy, whose official role is as director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.

Rapp has been the Orion Team's star operative almost from the day he started and has been honed into the most effective counterterrorism operative in America's arsenal. He's spent significant amounts of time in Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia collecting intelligence and when the situation called for it, dealing with threats in a more final manner.

Officially, Rapp has nothing to do with the U.S. government; rather, he is referred to in the business as a private contractor. Rapp lives a life completely separate from the Agency. His cover is that of a successful entrepreneur. With the help of the CIA, he runs a small computer consulting business on the side that just happens to do a fair amount of international business, which gives him the cover to travel frequently. To keep things legitimate, Rapp often does indeed conduct business while abroad.

One of Rapp's aliases is Mitch Kruse. In the special ops community he is often known only by his call sign, "Iron Man" after the annual Ironman Triathlon in which he has participated on several occasions and has twice won. His only remaining family is his brother, Steven Rapp, a millionaire financial genius. Mitch and Steven grew up in McLean, Virginia.

Throughout the books, Rapp works with several special operations units including Navy SEALs and DEVGRU, Delta Force, Air Force Special Operations Command, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). He also has close ties with "SEAL Demolition and Salvage Corporation", a private military company specializing in underwater salvage such as getting rid of debris for ports and shipyards and training law enforcement divers, but whose employees also work from time to time as freelance operatives for the CIA. The company is owned and operated by Scott Coleman, former commanding officer of SEAL Team Six and friend of Rapp.

Relationship with other characters[edit]

  • Thomas Stansfield
    • Director of CIA (Transfer of Power, The Third Option, American Assassin, Kill Shot)
  • Irene Kennedy
    • Director of the Counter-terrorism Center (Transfer of Power and The Third Option, American Assassin, Kill Shot)
    • Director of the CIA (Separation of Power through Pursuit of Honor)
  • Stan Hurley
    • Trainer and Mentor (Pursuit of Honor, American Assassin, Kill Shot, The Last Man)

Books appeared in[edit]

According to the site the order is as follows: The Mitch Rapp story begins with American Assassin, followed by Kill Shot, Transfer of Power, The Third Option, Separation of Power, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent to Kill, Act of Treason, Protect and Defend, Extreme Measures, Pursuit of Honor and The Last Man.

Transfer of Power[edit]

(2000) -- Islamic terrorists have taken over the White House. The President is safely evacuated to a bunker inside the White House. Things are not always as they seem; it is soon learned that his safety is in jeopardy, and over 70 hostages are still inside. The clock is ticking in favor of the terrorist, and if nothing is done soon the President and the hostages will be lost. CIA operative Mitch Rapp is tasked to observe from the inside and act if necessary. However, he quickly finds that in Washington, nothing is as simple as it seems, for there are people who are willing to use the hostages as pawns in their power struggle, and pawns can be sacrificed.

The Third Option[edit]

(2001) -- Beyond diplomacy and military intervention, there is the third option. Sinister forces wish to discredit the existing CIA chief and deputy chief as a part of a power struggle. Their perfect plan: set up top CIA operative Mitch Rapp on a "third option" mission to fail, and let Rapp take the blame. Their only mistake: they picked the wrong man to betray... Rapp goes on a mission that he has no plan in failing.

Separation of Power[edit]

(2002) -- Dr. Irene Kennedy, now head of the CIA, has many enemies, and those enemies wish to destroy both her and the President in a daring plot. In the Middle East, Saddam Hussein is developing a nuke, and Israel vows to launch a preemptive strike if the nuke is ever completed. Can CIA Operative Mitch Rapp destroy Saddam's plans before the Middle East is plunged into war while unraveling the sinister plots developing at home... in only 2 weeks?

Executive Power[edit]

(2003) -- A disgruntled congressman has destroyed Mitch Rapp's CIA operative career by outing him on national TV, and marking him for death by almost every terrorist who owns a television. Now Mitch Rapp must adjust to a new life as a CIA analyst/adviser, while attempting to plug a leak in the State Department that led to an ambush of a US Navy SEAL team in the Philippines. But in the shadows looms a madman and his assassin, ready to ignite another world war, and Mitch Rapp is the only one in their way.

Memorial Day[edit]

(2004) -- Mitch Rapp leads a daring raid on an Al Qaeda stronghold on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and reveals the unthinkable: Al Qaeda has obtained a nuke, and the target is Washington D.C., on Memorial Day. As the government debates on a course of action, Mitch Rapp is chasing leads and suspects across the globe. When the nuclear material is intercepted, everyone breaths a sigh of relief, but Mitch Rapp can't help but think... what if there is more than one?

Consent to Kill[edit]

(2005) -- A Saudi billionaire vows vengeance on Mitch Rapp after his son was killed by Rapp for the plot to nuke Washington D.C.. However, he's not the only one who wishes to see Mitch Rapp gone. For Rapp has made too many enemies in his effort to save the nation from Armageddon. This time, the international conspiracy may be bigger than even Rapp's ability to unravel...and the consequences could be devastating.

Act of Treason[edit]

(2006) -- Mitch Rapp makes another major appearance in this story about a conspiracy by very high officials to passively rig a presidential election by launching a false terrorist attack on one of the candidates, granting him a strong sympathy vote and propelling him to the Oval Office. Rapp, still mourning the terrible loss of his wife and unborn child he suffered in "Consent to Kill", must work to save the nation from corruption and evil once more.

Protect and Defend[edit]

(2007) -- After the Israelis take out the Iranian nuclear complex with a brilliant strike using a deep undercover agent, the Iranians blame the U.S. and launch proactive attacks on the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf, and threaten to unleash a worldwide terrorist attack. Mitch has a plan to thwart the Iranians and embarrass them by exposing their lies at the U.N. General Assembly. But, before he can complete his mission, he must deal with a Palestinian terrorist that is playing and being played by the highest levels of the Iranian government.

Extreme Measures[edit]

(2008) -- Now, with Rapp away on assignment in Afghanistan, CIA Director Irene Kennedy turns to her protégé Mike Nash. Nash has served his government honorably for sixteen years—first as an officer in the Marine Corps and then as an operative in an elite counter terrorism team run by none other than Mitch Rapp. He has met violence with extreme violence and has never wavered in his fight against the jihads and their culture of death. Rapp is boggled by "desk jockeys" while trying to save the world from a terrorism cell.

Pursuit of Honor[edit]

(2009) -- The action begins six days after a series of explosions devastated Washington, D.C., targeting the National Counterterrorism Center and killing 185 people, including public officials and CIA employees.

It was a bizarre act of extreme violence that called for extreme measures on the part of elite counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp and his trusted team member, Mike Nash. Now that the initial shock of the catastrophe is over, key Washington officials are up in arms over whether to make friends or foes of the agents who stepped between the enemy's bullets and countless American lives regardless of the legal consequences.

Not for the first time, Rapp finds himself in the frustrating position of having to illustrate the realities of national security to politicians whose view from the sidelines is inevitably obstructed.

Meanwhile, three of the al Qaeda terrorists are still at large, and Rapp has been unofficially ordered to find them by any means necessary.

No one knows the personal, physical, and emotional sacrifices required of the job better than Rapp. When he sees Nash cracking under the pressure of the mission and the memories of the horrors he witnessed during the terrorist attack, he makes a call he hopes will save his friend, assuage the naysayers on Capitol Hill, and get him one step closer to the enemy before it's too late.

American Assassin[edit]

(2010) -- Prior to becoming a CIA superagent, Rapp was attending Syracuse University along with his girlfriend. When she is killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 the doors are open for his recruitment. This novel reveals Rapp's early years and follows the formation of a new group of clandestine operatives headed by Irene Kennedy as they seek to stem the rise of Islamic terrorism before it reaches American shores.

Kill Shot[edit]

(2012)-- Mitch Rapp is on a deadly mission to hunt down the men responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack. For months, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians becomes increasingly clear. He is given his next target: a plump Libyan diplomat who is prone to drink and is currently in Paris without a single bodyguard. Rapp finds him completely unprotected and asleep in his bed. With confidence in his well-honed skills and conviction of the man's guilt, he easily sends a bullet into the man's skull. But in the split second it takes the bullet to leave the silenced pistol, everything changes. The door to the hotel room is kicked open and gunfire erupts all around Rapp. In an instant the hunter has become the hunted. Rapp is left wounded and must flee for his life. The next morning, the news breaks in Washington that Libya's Oil Minister has been killed along with three innocent civilians and four unidentified men. The French authorities are certain that the gunman is wounded and on the loose in Paris. As the finger pointing begins, Rapp's handlers have only one choice—deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way, avoiding capture and dying quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and he absolutely cannot be allowed to be taken alive by the French authorities. But it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.

The Last Man[edit]

(2012) -- An invaluable CIA asset has gone missing, and with him, secrets that in the wrong hands could prove disastrous. The only question is: Can Mitch Rapp find him first? Joe Rickman, head of CIA clandestine operations in Afghanistan, has been kidnapped and his four bodyguards executed in cold blood. But Mitch Rapp’s experience and nose for the truth make him wonder if something even more sinister isn’t afoot. Irene Kennedy, director of the CIA, has dispatched him to Afghanistan to find Rickman at all costs.

Rapp, however, isn’t the only one looking for Rickman. The FBI is too, and it quickly becomes apparent that they’re less concerned with finding Rickman than placing the blame on Rapp.

With CIA operations in crisis, Rapp must be as ruthless and deceitful as his enemies if he has any hope of finding Rickman and completing his mission. But with elements within his own government working against both him and American interests, will Rapp be stopped dead before he can succeed?

The Survivor[edit]

(2015) Vince Flynn (by Kyle Mills); released October 6, 2015

Top secret data has been stolen from the CIA, and the only man who knows its hiding place is dead. CIA operative Mitch Rapp must race to find the classified information in this blistering novel that picks up where The Last Man left off in Vince Flynn’s New York Times bestselling series.

Joseph “Rick” Rickman, former boy wonder at the CIA, stole a massive amount of top secret and hugely compromising intel concerning classified operations all over the world, offering it (and himself) to the Pakistani secret forces. Only his plans went awry when CIA director Irene Kennedy sent Mitch Rapp to hunt him down. It turns out that killing Rickman didn’t solve anything—in fact, the nightmare is only intensifying. Rickman stored the potentially devastating data (CIA assets, operatives, agents) somewhere only he knew, and somehow, from beyond the grave, he still poses a mortal threat to America.

Now it’s a deadly race as both the Pakistanis and the Americans search for Rickman’s accomplices and the information they are slowly leaking to the world. Will Rapp outrun and outthink his enemies, or will the Pakistanis find it first and hold America hostage to their dream of becoming the world’s new nuclear superpower?[4]

Order To Kill[edit]

(2016) Vince Flynn (by Kyle Mills); release October 2016

Mitch Rapp, a anti-terrorism operative, heads to Pakistan to confront a mortal threat he may not be prepared for. In fact, this time he might have met his match.

In this follow-up to #1 New York Times bestselling The Survivor, the CIA operative finds himself chasing false leads from continent to continent in an effort to keep Pakistani nukes from falling into the hands of terrorists. Together with friend and colleague Scott Coleman, Rapp struggles to prevent the loss of these lethal weapons, particularly because Russia is also interested in the nukes, though not for the same reason as Rapp and Coleman.

Soon, it becomes alarmingly clear that the forces in Moscow are bent on fomenting even more chaos and turmoil in the Middle East, and Rapp must go deep into Russian territory, posing as an American ISIS recruit. There, he uncovers a plan much more dangerous and insidious than he ever expected, one that could have far-reaching and catastrophic consequences.[5]

Chronological order[edit]

Screen adaptation[edit]

The New York Times bestseller, Consent to Kill,[6] was intended to be the first Mitch Rapp film in a proposed series of films by CBS Films.[7] Consent to Kill was scheduled to be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler; the screenplay was written by Jonathan Lemkin. The studio's last few films have performed poorly causing them to delay the production of this film. Antoine Fuqua was originally attached to direct[8] with several names being rumored to play Mitch Rapp, including Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Matthew Fox,[9] but the studio announced some major changes in June 2011.[10] One of these changes is that the first film in the series was initially based on an earlier novel. This was changed to basing it on a later novel, American Assassin, which explains how Rapp became a CIA officer. Another change is the leading man will consequently be younger to reflect Mitch Rapp at a younger age and still at the beginning of his covert career. On 19 January 2016 CBS Films announced that American Assassin will be directed by Michael Cuesta and written by Stephen Schiff. Production must start by April 30, 2016 or the rights to the film will revert to the Vince Flynn Estate. On May 10, 2016, Deadline announced that 24-year-old actor Dylan O'Brien was in talks to play Mitch Rapp, with the "idea that O’Brien’s Mitch Rapp is college aged, and the hope is the actor grows as the series progresses."[11]

The movie started filming in early September 2016, with shooting taking place in London and Budapest.[12][13] The upcoming action film 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 in the Middle East.[14]


  1. ^ "CBS Films Building Mitch Rapp Franchise". 2008-02-14. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Killing terrorists: Is there a real Mitch Rapp?". The Daily Caller. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Former Orange All-American Mitch Rapp coming to the big screen". 2009-10-07. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Order to Kill". 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  6. ^ "New York Times best seller list for September 10, 2006". New York Times. 2006-09-10. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Mitch Rapp Movie Coming, Says Vince Flynn". Movie Rewind. 2010-09-05. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Consent to Kill". The New York Times. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike (June 8, 2011). "CBS Films Targets 'American Assassin' To Launch Mitch Rapp Franchise, Sets Ed Zwick To Direct". Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  11. ^ Mike Fleming Jr (May 10, 2016). "'Maze Runner's Dylan O'Brien In Talks To Play Mitch Rapp In Vince Flynn Spy Novel Adaptation 'American Assassin'". Deadline. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Borys Kit (August 18, 2016). "Taylor Kitsch Joining Dylan O'Brien in 'American Assassin' (Exclusive)". HollywoodReporter. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  14. ^ Max Evry (September 12, 2016). "'Dylan O'Brien in first look at American Assassin'". ComingSoon. Retrieved September 13, 2016.