“Even if you succeed it won’t be worth it.”

As the world awaits the twenty-fifth Bond bullet No Time to Die and its April 2020 release, its producers EON Productions have loaded another thriller into their movie calendar. Starring Blake Lively and Jude Law, The Rhythm Section will be released at the end of January 2020.

The film marks a long awaited adaptation of Mark Burnell’s book as it finally reaches the big screen after a tough shoot. Based on Burnell’s Stephanie Patrick novels, The Rhythm Section is about an assassin spy finding her world was maybe never her world at all. After her entire family are killed in a plane crash, Stephanie discovers the crash was not only no accident, she realises was meant to be on it. In order to investigate who is responsible, she must go on the run, adopt new tactics and evade the triple-crossing characters littering her path. IM Global have financed and co-produced the film – with Bond production house EON Productions lending decades of experience when it comes to mounting and lensing action minded thrillers on European soil. Greg Shapiro and author Burnell are also executive producing.

Directed by award-winning director Reed Morano (The Handmaiden’s Tale), EON Productions first spy story of 2020 shot in the UK, Switzerland, the US, Spain and Ireland. “We are thrilled to be bringing Mark Burnell’s The Rhythm Section to the big screen with our partners at IM Global,” producer Barbara Broccoli said to Variety as shooting began in 2017. “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.”

“A lot of these movies that have had female action heroes make you feel like they’re male fantasies of what a woman would be like in this situation”, Broccoli more recently said to Bustle magazine. “This is much more gritty and realistic, and intentionally so. We wanted to show Stephanie’s story from a female point of view, and from a point of view of an average person. The Rhythm Section isn’t about nonstop, explosive action. Instead, it explores the toll Stephanie’s mission takes on her emotionally throughout the story.” It is a role that actor Blake Lively totally involved herself with and into – including suffering an on-set broken hand which postponed the original shoot. “When she goes for something, she goes big, whether that’s her rise or her fall,” Lively told Bustle. “When a person like that has nothing to lose, she is capable of anything. That is her superpower.”

The Rhythm Section marks another chapter in EON’s non-Bond output following Films Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2016), The Silent Storm (2014), Radiator (2014) and Nancy (2018). Alongside Lively and Law, The Rhythm Section also stars Max Casella (Late Night, Jackie), Daniel Mays (1917, Rogue One), Raza Jaffrey (Lost in Space, The Enemy Within) and Sterling K. Brown (Black Panther, Frozen 2). Casting was by EON’s famed casting director Debbie McWilliams and producers Gregg Wilson, David Pope and Andrew Noakes serve as co-producers. Fresh from the recent Jurassic World – Battle at Big Rock (2019), costume designer Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh is tackling the multiple looks of Stephanie Patrick, composer Steve Mazarro (Widows, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, The Lion King) is handling the score whilst veteran cinematographer Sean Bobbit (12 Years a Slave, On Chesil Beach) has overseen the visuals. Author Burnell has penned the screenplay.

The Rhythm Section is released by Paramount Pictures on January 31 2020.