Actor Zachary Quinto of Star Trek Into Darkness and Heroes fame, has joined Fox’s live-action adaptation of Square Enix’s action-adventure video game, Hitman. Homeland actor, Rupert Friend is now confirmed to replace Paul Walker as the titular lead actor. Deadline reports that the project was originally going to begin filming in February but after the traffic death of Walker, the production has understandably been delayed and won’t begin shooting until March. The film will be a sequel to the 2007 film which starred Timothy Olyphant as the bald assassin for hire.
The fifth installment of the video game, Hitman: Absolution, was released in November 2012 and has sold over 8 million copies as of March 2013. While immensely popular in it’s initial release back in 2000 the series’ popularity has waned a bit in the States. However, the Hitman franchise is incredibly popular in foreign territories, particularly in Europe. Coincidentally, the 2007 film grossed $100M worldwide [on a $24M budget] with $60.2M of that total coming from international markets. The film adaptation is currently going by the title, Agent 47.
Commercial director Aleksander Bach is making his feature film debut with Hitman for 20th Century Fox. Rupert Friend (Homeland) will play the title character. Kyle Ward (Machete Kills), Skip Woods (Hitman ’07, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Michael Finch (Predators ’10) collaborated on the script. Production is expected to start in March 2014. An insider told Variety that based on the video game’s popularity overseas, and the fact that the 2007 film grossed $100 million dollars on a $24 million dollar budget, Fox was willing to move forward with the project, even after the tragic death of original lead, Paul Walker.