Hitman: Agent 47 made a respectable-sized splash at the San Diego Comic-Con last week, and it shouldn't be too long before the Agent 47 trailer shown to the Hall H crowd (during the 20th Century Fox panel at the 'Con) makes it way online. In the meantime, we can offer a gallery of images from the video game movie reboot - one that highlights the film's principal players, in the forms of Rupert Friend (Homeland), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), and Hannah Ware (Betrayal).
In the film, Friend plays Agent 47 - an "elite and genetically engineered assassin," who gets his name from the last two digits in a barcode tattooed on the back on his neck. Paul Walker was the original star lined up for the Hitman reboot (after Timothy Olyphant handled the role in the 2007 installment), but Friend took over the title role following Walker's death last year. Interestingly, Friend was first eyed for Agent 47 prior to Walker signing on, but at the time he wasn't perceived as being a bankable option - having not yet made a name for himself, playing black ops agent Peter Quinn on Showtime's award-winning CIA drama/thriller series, Homeland.
Quinto, meanwhile, plays the central antagonist of the Hitman reboot: a cold-blooded and deadly figure, known only as John Smith. Thomas Kretschmann (not pictured below) portrays a second villain in the film, similar to his role as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. Lastly, Ware is playing a character named Katia, who is not part of the Hitman video game source material but nonetheless is rumored to be, essentially, the MacGuffin (e.g. the character everyone is chasing after) of the new movie adaptation.
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It was during a press conference for Agent 47 at last week's Comic-Con where Quinto revealed that Friend - currently busy filming the latest season of Homeland in South Africa - had, in fact, played some of the Hitman video games, as part of his preparation for starring in the cinematic adaptation. Based on the above images alone, that decision looks to have served Friend well; his Agent 47 never wavers in his calm and collected expression, which is a far departure from the twitchy mannerisms Friend relies upon in his portrayal of the deadly, yet emotionally-vulnerable government-backed killer Peter Quinn on Homeland.
Likewise, in general, the main cast of the Hitman reboot looks to bring a certain sense of gravitas and dramatic substance to what will, most likely, be B-movie proceedings. (There appear to be similarities between Agent 47 and the Transporter franchise, just on the surface alone.) Quinto touched on that issue and his approach to working on a video game-inspired movie in general, during his 'Con appearance; an excerpt from his comments have been included below (you can also read the full transcript).
“The character I play in the movie exists in the world of the video game but in a peripheral way, so for me it wasn’t about playing the video game to understand the character... I feel like my approach is to try and set myself free from the expectation and comparison because alternately if they are reimagining something or adapting something or evolving something beyond the point of its original concept or execution then they’re doing that because they want to take it into a different landscape and so for me I just try to let myself focus on the work that’s ahead of me and what my job is and how I bring something to life..."
The short version: Quinto is talking about taking a role in a Hitman video game-inspired property as seriously as any other project, be it his part as the younger Spock in the rebooted Star Trek movies or the multiple challenging roles that he has tackled during his time working on American Horror Story. Between Quinto and Friend, that's two acting hard-hitters, pushing to make Agent 47 a worthwhile reboot (and a quality action movie experience, on its own terms).
That said, it's not at all a guarantee that this film will end up becoming part of a larger renaissance in the video game movie genre in Hollywood during the years ahead. Indeed, there's fair reason to remain skeptical, as Agent 47 was directed by first-timer Aleksander Bach and co-penned by Skip Woods, whose other writing credits include the 2007 Hitman movie, A Good Day to Die Hard, and Sabotage - among other action films that critics have traditionally loved to hate. Innocent until proven guilty, though.
Hitman: Agent 47 arrives in U.S. theaters on February 27th, 2015.
Source: 20th Century Fox