MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - His books topped the New York Times best sellers list and sold nearly 20 million copies around the world.
Now Vince Flynn's family, who lives right here in the Twin Cities, is hoping a movie based on one of his novels will be the toast of Tinsel Town.
Flynn grew up in St. Paul and graduated from both St. Thomas Academy and University, dying four years ago. But, his most famous creation will live on forever on the silver screen.
The movie "American Assassin" chronicles the origin story of fictional counter terrorism super spy Mitch Rapp, but the writer who created the character had his own beginnings right here in Minnesota.
"We really got the point where we didn't think a movie would come out," Flynn's brother Kevin said.
He says his older brother started writing about international espionage after a close friend was killed a few steps from the Capitol in Washington D.C.
Vince turned that tragedy into a series of best-selling thrillers about Rapp before Flynn died from prostate cancer back in 2013.
"The books go to like book 11, then they go back to the beginning, Kevin Flynn said. "Why did he get into this and what motivated him to become an assassin. He was 23 and that's why they went with Dylan O'Brien because the actor had to be young."
Now his most popular character is making his silver screen debut in a star studded major motion picture.
Kevin says family members attended the premiere in the Twin Cities last week and in Hollywood on Tuesday, posing for pictures with the movie's star, Dylan O'Brien, as well as Michael Keaton.
But the most emotional moment came after the credits rolled and a picture of Vince popped up on screen.
"I think sometimes the movie forgets the book," Kevin Flynn said. "The book is in the past not that important. You don't know who the author is. I like how CBS films is making sure that Vince is known and his legacy lives on."
If American Assassin makes a killing at the box office, Flynn says movie goers haven't seen the last of Rapp. But for him, the reviews are already in.
"I think it’s great," he said. "There's a lot of action. So many movies there's explosions. A lot of hand-to-hand, one-on-one combat. I don't want to give anything away but it’s exciting."
"American Assassin" opens in theaters across the country Friday.
And even though he's already seen it twice, Kevin says he and group of family and friends plan to see it again this weekend.