Though Hitman (2007) - starring Timothy Olyphant (Justified) as Agent 47 - more than made back its estimated production budget of $24 million at the box office, it was not received well by either film critics or fans of the video game series on which the movie was based. Aside from criticisms regarding the writing/story, one of the biggest complaints about Hitman was that Olyphant (a solid actor in his own right) was woefully miscast as the eponymous hitman.
Now, five years later, Fox is ready to reboot the franchise with a new title - Agent 47 - and a new star - Paul Walker of the Fast and Furious franchise.
According to Deadline, the Hitman reboot will be written by Skip Woods (A Good Day to Die Hard) and Michael Finch (Predators) and directed by Aleksander Bach, an award-winning commercials director. If Woods' name sounds familiar - especially in connection with the Hitman franchise - it's probably because he was the screenwriter on the first film, which implies to me that this "reboot" may have started out as a "sequel." (Perhaps the negative stigma of the first film prompted producers to take the reboot route instead?)
Paul Walker will probably come off as an odd choice for the role of Agent 47 to fans of the video game series, especially considering the cries of miscasting with regard to Timothy Olyphant. The character of 47 is known for his grim demeanor and somewhat unpleasant appearance. Walker, on the other hand, is known for his goofy personality and boyish good looks. Can the uber-jock/big man on campus from She's All That really pull off the soft-spoken, semi-sinister, and utterly intimidating Agent 47? Perhaps. But it's doubtful he's anybody's first choice.
The Agent 47 announcement comes after a string of announcements regarding high profile film adaptations of video game properties in the works, including Assassin's Creed starring Michael Fassbender, Splinter Cell starring Tom Hardy, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister). Though nary a single video game movie has yet to receive a score higher than 66% via Rotten Tomatoes, several - including the Resident Evil movies and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - have been incredibly financially successful.
That success, coupled with the fact that the video game industry is fast becoming one of the most lucrative entertainment industries on the planet, probably has something to do with the sudden influx of video game movie projects going into pre-production. Hopefully, one of these forthcoming films amounts to more than just a massive amount of money at the box office.
What do you think, Screen Ranters? Do you think Paul Walker would make a good Agent 47? Let us know in the comments.
Agent 47 will start shooting this summer in Berlin and Singapore after Walker finishes promoting Fast and Furious 6.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
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