After two feature films, the under-rated Hitman (2007) and not-as-good Hitman: Agent 47 (2015), failed to make it big at the box office, it looks like the popular video game property is going to get a TV adaptation. Fox 21 and Hulu have teamed up for a new adaptation with the pilot being written by John Wick (2014) screenwriter Derek Kolstad.
If you’re not familiar with the Hitman games, they’re fairly straightforward; you play as a genetically-engineered assassin, Agent 47, traveling to international locations and eliminating contracted targets. You’re given a number of creative options in taking on the assassinations. For instance, players may utilize long-ranged rifles to snipe a target from a long distance, or you may decide to assassinate the target at close range by using a blade or garrote wire. Alternatively, you might opt for explosives, or disguise the assassination by creating a seemingly accidental death. The amount of options offered to the player has given the title its massive popularity with the latest entry, Hitman, selling 7 million copies worldwide.
The character first appeared in Hitman: Codename 47, which was released in 2000 and developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive exclusively for Microsoft Windows. There are now nine games in total, with different titles being made available for different gaming platforms. The most recent, released last year, followed an episodic formula, which offered new content downloadable content over a period of about nine months.
Agent 47 is known for his typical attire, consisting of a black suit, black leather gloves, white dress shirt and a red tie and was portrayed on the big screen by Timothy Olyphant, with Dougray Scott and Olga Kurylenko also starring. This was a far superior adaptation than the subsequent reboot attempt that starred Rupert Friend as Agent 47.
Adrian Askarieh and Chuck Gordon – both of whom worked on both movies – are set to produce alongside Kolstad. The project will be overseen at Fox 21 by Bert Salke, Jane Francis, Gloria Fan and Kira Innes and at Hulu by Jordan Helman.
Hulu reportedly hopes that Hitman can be a flagship series for them and there’s certainly the possibility the show could be a hit. It has the potential, without a doubt and a John Wick-style approach could certainly work, with a healthy mixture of R-rated dark humour as well as re-visit to elements of 47’s past, like his youth, his conditioning and so on, as well as some particularly creative assassinations, naturally.
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