James Gunn has had quite the career during his time in Hollywood, from playing in the cosmic corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe helming the Guardians of the Galaxy movies to writing the original live action Scooby-Doo movies. Of course, like any other creative mind, he's also had his fair share of projects that were never realized. Two years ago, Gunn talked about how he pitched a Silver Surfer movie when he first came to Los Angeles, but later turned down the job to write a live action Spy vs. Spy movie...which also didn't get made. Today he revealed that at one time he had an idea for a Hitman movie, but the higher-ups wasn't keen on his mature take.
When asked on Twitter if there was a video game he believed he could make a good movie out of, James Gunn gave the above answer, citing that producers didn't want the Hitman movie to be R-rated at that time. Given the violent content of the video games series, which have all been rated M, it's surprising that these producers weren't willing to make the jump to R. It's also ironic, because despite their insistence at the time to keep that character in the PG-13 territory, both Hitman movies were rated R for violence & gore, profanity, sex & nudity, etc. Basically the same material that folks would find in the video games. It certainly would have been interesting to see Gunn direct a Hitman movie, but given how much he's accomplished with the Guardians of the Galaxy, I'm sure many will agree that it was for the best he ended up with Marvel.
As has been the case with most cinematic video game adaptations, the Hitman movies that have come out so far weren't critically successful in theaters. The 2007 one, simply called Hitman, starred Timothy Olyphant as the main protagonist, who is officially known as Agent 47. The supporting cast included Dougray Scott, Robert Knepper and Olga Kurylenko, to name a few. Hitman managed to take in $100 million off a $24 million budget, but it was met with mostly negative reviews. Although a sequel had been planned, that was scrapped, and years later, 20th Century Fox released the reboot, Hitman: Agent 47. That movie saw Rupert Friend playing the bald assassin, and some of the other actors involved included Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto and Ciaran Hinds. Just like its predecessor, the reboot made a decent amount of money at the box office, but was also negatively received by critics. Given that James Gunn said "a few years ago" in his tweet, it stands to reason his pitch was for the reboot years before the final premise was nailed down.
Nearly two years after Hitman: Agent 47's release, there's been no word on whether it will get a sequel or not. As for James Gunn, let us know if you would have liked to have seen his theatrical version of Hitman in the comments below.