While the first Hitman movie wasn’t a massive success, it got enough in the bank ($100 million worldwide on a $30 million budget) that Fox has been moving forward on a sequel, with Kyle Ward hired last October to come up with the screenplay (which has since been rewritten by Daniel Casey). Now Deadline reveals that they’re stepping things up a gear by hiring Spanish director Daniel Benmayor to helm the movie. This follows the first film’s precendent of giving an interesting European director his first taste of Hollywood, in that case Xavier Gens.
Benmayor meanwhile is the director of Paintball, a rather silly but incredibly stylish movie about a group of people who think they’re going on an extreme paintballing weekend, but are actually being lined up as fodder for a maniacal killer. It may have been dumb, but purely through Benmayor’s verve, it’s a far better flick than it ought to be, and if he can bring that drive to Hitman 2, he may be able to make it a success. Daniel has also just wrapped production on Bruc, about a 19th Catalan drummer boy who helps gives Napoleons army its first taste of defeat.
However there’s no news on whether Timothy Olyphant will return as the shaven headed killer. When Hitman 2 was first mooted, there were rumours it would go straight-to-DVD and feature a new actor in the main role, but it now seems Fox is thinking theatrical, and so may want Olyphant back. They apparently have an option on the actor to return, but from what he’s said in interviews, it would appear he’s unlikely to want to come back.
The sequel apparently includes plot points from Hitman 5, with Agent 47 a beaten man who must build himself back psychologically and physically to reclaim his mantle as worlds most feared assassin. As yet no production date is set.