If the optimism of producers like Avi Arad is to be believed, then a new dawn of great movies based on video games is right around the corner and ready to rival the success of the comic book movie craze. Since the current selection of video game movies ranges in quality from terrible to OK, there's certainly plenty of room to climb.
Perhaps in anticipation of this video game movie revolution, Twentieth Century Fox is taking another stab at a Hitman adaptation, after the 2007 film with Timothy Olyphant received a thorough panning from critics. The upcoming reboot, Agent 47, will be the feature directorial debut of Aleksander Bach, with a script by Skip Woods (who wrote Hitman, as well last year's action sequel A Good Day to Die Hard), Kyle Ward (Machete Kills) and Mike Finch (Predators).
The creative team behind this reboot doesn't exactly inspire much confidence, but the casting of Fast and Furious star Paul Walker as the cold and calculating assassin of the film's title was likely to be something of a box office draw. Walker was sadly killed in a car accident last November, but the producers of Agent 47 are already lining up a replacement.
According the TheWrap, multiple sources close to the project have said that Homeland star Rupert Friend is in talks to take over the role that Walker was going to play. Agent 47 is based on the Hitman video games from IO Interactive, and the main character is an assassin who was cloned to genetic perfection and then trained from an early age to be a perfect killer. In the games, Agent 47 eventually escapes the compound where he was raised and begins carrying out assassination contracts to make the most of his skills.
Friend doesn't quite look the part of Agent 47, but actors can appear radically different after having their heads shaved and undergoing physical training (see Tom Hardy in Bronson). Besides, finding an actor who will play the role convincingly is more important than finding the most perfect lookalike.
Hitman is one of a number of upcoming movies based on video games, including this year's Need for Speed adaptation with Aaron Paul and Ubisoft Motion Pictures' debut Assassin's Creed, with Michael Fassbender. Right now Agent 47 sounds like a far cry from being the most promising of these projects, but perhaps it will at least be able to improve on the last film.
We'll keep you updated on Agent 47 as development continues.