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Before he donned a cowboy hat on FX’s Justified, Timothy Olyphant went the hairless/bar code route in a film called Hitman. Based on the video game by developers IO International and then-publishers Eidos, the 2007 film also featured Henry Ian Cusick, Robert Knepper and Dougray Scott. Although the film was resoundingly panned by critics (it has 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), Hitman wound up making almost $100 million worldwide, more than quadrupling the reported $24 million budget.
With so much time since the original and Olyphant’s move to more cerebral material, many assumed the franchise was dead, but that’s not the case, according to Deadline. The site reports Fox International Productions will take the reboot route, hiring Paul Walker (Fast & Furious) to play the bald, bar-coded assassin in a film now called Agent 47. The new take was written by Skip Woods (A Good Day to Die Hard) and Michael Finch (Predators). Alexsander Bach, a commercial director, will make his big screen debut with the project.
Hitman first unloaded on video game audience in 2000 with Hitman: Codename 47. The series follows a clone genetically engineered to be an assassin as he goes on various missions to take out his targets. The most recent installment, Hitman: Absolution came out last year from new publisher Square Enix and sold roughly 2.7 million copies.
The new film is expected to do well in the States, but even better overseas. The original film made just over $60 million of the aforementioned $100 million outside the US and the video games have sold over 20 million copies worldwide. To further tap into that international feel, the film is slated to film in Berlin and Singapore. Shooting is expected to begin in June.