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Casting Call For a Tough Guy: Farrell, Fox or Butler?

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CBS Films is ready to launch a new tough guy based on Vince Flynn's novels, and a trio of screen idols are on the short list to play the role.

Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Matthew Fox are said to be the studio's first choices for the role that's in the Jack Bauer/Jason Bourne/Jack Ryan/James Bond mold -- will they have to change his name to Jake or some such "J" name? Butler is said to be in the pole position.

"Consent to Kill" will be the first of Flynn's 11 novels featuring CIA counter-terrorism agent Mitch Rapp to hit the big screen, reported Deadline Hollywood. The studio already has director Antoine Fuqua lined up to helm the first installment in what they hope will be their very own action star franchise.

Why you would hitch your tent-pole wagon to Butler's star is anyone's guess. Since bursting on the scene in "300," he's starred in a string of terrible films, none of which have performed terribly well at the box office.

Of course Farrell hasn't done much better since his "It Boy" moment following "Minority Report," though "In Bruges" was great.

That leaves Fox, who might be able to bring some of his soon-to-be-lost "Lost" fans out to the theater. He also has the advantage of actually being American, which you would think would be, if not a prerequisite, certainly in his favor.

In any event, Fuqua could be a good choice for such a project. As shaky as "Brooklyn's Finest" was, he still manages to get good performances from his actors and knows how to move a camera around a shoot out.

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