The ever reliable scoopers over at Latino Review have had a look at the new script by Skip Woods, of Swordfish fame, for the soon to be adapted video game franchise Hitman.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the game, allow me to first fill you in on a dose of geekdom: The Hitman series by Eidos Interactive centers on a genetically engineered soldier named simply "47", derived from the barcode on the back of his head. Developed as the perfect killing machine, 47 uses stealth, secrecy, deception and when unavoidable, brute force and impressive firepower to take down his mark.
The game franchise has been one of the most popular and respected on all formats generating three sequels, the latest iteration of which, Hitman: Blood Money, sold in droves which will be nothing but good news for the film developers. As Josh reported a while back, Vin Diesel is in line to portray the lethal assassin.
The script report is somewhat spoiler-lite but does say this about the supposed plot: "Agent 47 apparently left a witness at his last job in Russia so he has to go back to finish the witness off. Upon his return to Russia, everything unravels for 47 and he discovers that he has been set up and now the hunter has become the hunted. 47 also has to stay ahead of Michael Whittier, an ambitious Interpol Agent out of London who has been putting together the paper trail on 47 and hunting him for 3 years now."
Now if you think like I do, so far you've been groaning in boredom at the thought of Diesel in a suit and tie with a gun. I'ts gonna take some convincing to make me believe otherwise but, apparently, there is hope and maybe even a bit of innovation to be had in the form of set-pieces and scope: "In the hands of any other writer and in like any other hitman kind of film, the opening sequence would show the hero/assassin mow down a bunch of bad guys. Boring. Done to death. Put it this way. In the opening pre-credit sequence showing Agent 47 and his handiwork, he does not fire off a single round. His intended target, Bwana Obie, is in Africa and protected like an elder statesman. How Agent 47 executes his target, like he does in the games make you sit back and say - "Oh shit now that is cool!"' They also go on to offer the script an impressive "A".
I know that I, and others, definitley want to see this game made into a film above and beyond many of the other pathetic joystick wagglers which have somehow made it onto the screen. I just hope these guys know what they're doing and don't serve up another stinker. It took only Batman and Robin to virtually kill the Comic Book Movie genre, and considering some of the drivel we've seen, it's frankly a miracle that games haven't suffered the same fate.
With reference to Diesel in the role; No. I don't think he's the right man for the job. He's too big and has too much physical presence to be a stealthy assassin. Who's not gonna know something's up when a bald musclebound maniac comes to the door of a powerful politician delivering pizza or flowers? 47 needs to be invisible, not invincible. Let's just hope they can write around it.
His involvement does actually remind me of another similar casting situation a few years back when producers wanted to cast for a faceless killer who could blend into a crowd and disappear unnoticed. After passing over the talented Lance Henriksen for the part, they eventually hired a not-so-unnoticeable Mr. Universe to play the part. And that movie grew up to be... Terminator. *gasp* I suppose I better give this one a chance.
Here's hoping this great game gets what it deserves on the big screen. LR say: "[the script] stands on it's own merits as a testosterone laced action packed thriller while being faithful to it's video game origins". I'll believe it when I see it.