By now, it’s no secret that 2015 is the year of the franchise revival. However, that doesn’t just apply to global sensations like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Terminator; there will be plenty of other” established series looking to catch the attention of audiences over the next few months as well. Chief among those is the video game adaptation Hitman: Agent 47.
Hollywood first tried to bring the property to the big screen in 2007 with the poorly-received Hitman, and now Fox is looking to bring it back with a reboot starring Rupert Friend (Homeland). With just four months remaining until its August release date, the studio is keen to rev up the marketing machine. We got the first trailer a few months back, and recently a new poster was unveiled. Now, the campaign will extend to the realm of comic books with a tie-in from publisher Boom!.
THR broke the story, revealing that Fox and Boom! have partnered up to publish a one-shot that will operate as a prequel to the upcoming feature film. This development is a continuation of a collaboration between the two companies. Boom! has a first-look deal with Fox to produce comic tie-ins for film and television projects, with previous instances of this includes Planet of the Apes, The Maze Runner, and Sons of Anarchy.
With a story conceived by Boom’s Stephen Christy and F.J. DeSanto (Cyborg 009) and artwork from Jesus Hervas, the comic will see the titular anti-hero embark on a mission in pursuit of a “deadly adversary” and lead right into the film’s opening sequence. Details beyond that are scarce, but this should be an item of interest for longtime fans of the property – as it marks the character’s first foray into the world of comic books.
In today’s day and age, building a multimedia brand that extends to various outlets is a top priority for studios (see: Disney/Lucasfilm’s decision to publish 20 Star Wars books leading up to the premiere of The Force Awakens), so it shouldn’t come as any surprise to fans that Fox is looking to reach as wide an audience as possible when trying to launch a new franchise. Comic tie-ins have long been a part of the film industry, with a recent noteworthy example being the Interstellar prequel comic that detailed the life of Dr. Mann, which set up that movie’s basic narrative and supplemented its story.
From the sound of it, this Hitman comic will be following a similar structure, in that it add another medium for the property and give interested parties the ability to learn more about the world and characters prior to seeing the film. In all likelihood, reading this tie-in will enhance the experience of watching the movie but won’t necessarily be a requirement. Though, if the events from the book lead directly into the first act of Agent 47, it certainly wouldn’t hurt for viewers to be familiar with the comic so they have a better understanding of where our hero is coming from.
It’s an exciting time to be a Hitman fan. Just as the game series prepares to pick back up with another new title on the horizon, Fox is looking to revitalize the films in an exciting new direction hopes of launching a new franchise that gamers and moviegoers can enjoy equally. Based on what we’ve seen so far, Agent 47 promises a high-stakes adventure with some interesting lore behind it. And it doesn’t hurt to have one of best badasses on TV as its lead.
Agent 47 hits theaters on August 28, 2015.