Producers Adrian Askarieh and Chuck Gordon are developing a new Hitman feature film to arrive in theaters in 2012. Timothy Olyphant starred as the bald assasin Agent 47 in 2007's adaptation of the game from 20th Century Fox. Danish game maker IO Interactive, which has spent the past few years developing a new installment for the video game franchise, entitled Hitman: Absolution.
The new film follows "Agent 47, a cold-blooded assassin, who takes on his most dangerous contract to date. Betrayed by those he once trusted — and now hunted by the police — he suddenly finds himself at the center of a dark conspiracy and must embark on a personal journey through a corrupt and twisted world."
Here is what Askarieh had to say about the project:
“Everyone would very much like to have both the game and the movie released in the same window. Whether the film is a sequel or a reboot, we think the past five years has seen a pent-up demand by gamers for Agent 47 and 2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Hitman.”
Producers would love to have Olyphant reprise his role in the new film, but that depends on the script. The original film had positive reviews (not in my opinion) and a $100 million box office take. Daniel Casey (Jimmy Six) wrote the current draft of the script. Fox International will be producing and financing the film with Askarieh and Gordon. According to Askarieh the film will have an original storyline. There will be synergies between the game and the movie with regard to the tone and the new look of the game.
Here is what Tore Blystad, game director at IO Interactive had to say:
“We’ve designed a more stylized, more serious, and darker game this time around in both the story line and the visuals. The hope is that the movie will be going in a similar direction, and then when they both come out they will speak the same language. They won’t follow the old Hitman games, but rather go with this newer direction.”
The bestselling video game franchise has sold over 10 million copies worldwide since launching in 2000. The fourth game in the franchise, Hitman: Blood Money, has sold over 2.1 million copies since it shipped in 2007. The new game will give gamers a very cinematic feel. IO Interactive has reportedly cast a dozen Hollywood actors for both voice acting and performance capture in the game. The cast includes, Keith Carradine (Cowboys & Aliens) as the villain, Blake Dexter. Marsha Thomason (White Collar) will step into the role of Diana Burnwood, who serves as Agent 47's handler and has a close relationship with the assassin.
Here is what Thompson had to say about her character:
“Diana is 47’s only true human contact. They’ve known each other an extremely long time and in the Hitman world, she is what Q is to James Bond. So she sets the assignments, tells him where to go, and who to kill.”
Giant Stuidos oversees performance caputure, which is the same type used for Avatar. This is the first time it has been used for the game frachise, There was even up to seven actors on the set at a given time. Blystad explained that the performance capture scenes focused on the drama that develops as the story unfolds. The new game places more emphasis on the emotional human stories that evolve, which is why they opted to hire Hollywood actors to bring these virtual characters to life. This is the same type of idea behind the upcoming L.A. Noire.
Here is what Carradine had to say about his character:
"The character I play in Hitman: Absolution is as multidimensional as any well-imagined character should be. The vividness of the world entered by the gamer hinges on detail. To fully engage the attention of the player requires nothing less than the most completely realized universe of geography and personality."
To get scenes to the next level, IO created Glacier 2 technology allowing more believable characters to life, and allow more open world interaction within the gameplay. Here is what Blystad had to say about the new technology:
“There are more central characters in this game than we’ve ever dealt with before and they all have names and an important role in the story, so working with Hollywood talent was crucial to us. It’s important within the framework of the game for players to be able to connect with these characters.”
The new game will also have the same type of shooting action that gamers have come to expect over the franchise. The drama that pushes the story forward serves as "a cinematic layer on top of the core gameplay, which sends Agent 47 on different missions throughout the U.S. A portion of the game takes place in Chicago."
Askarieh ended by saying:
“We’ve seen the grit and texture and the character-driven context that IO Interactive is going for with Hitman: Absolution and it’s our goal to bring Agent 47 back with a vengeance next year."
I am not too excited about a sequel or reboot to the film. The new game sounds really cool, but I did not like the original film at all. It's a shame too, because I think Olyphant is a great actor. What are your thoughts on this news? Would you like to see Olyphant reprise his role as Agent 47?