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If you think about it, there really is no better man than Derek Kolstad to write the pilot script for the newly announced partnership between Fox 21 (Subsidiary of 20th Century Fox) and Hulu to develop a series around the best-selling franchise from IO Interactive, Hitman. Kolstad is the creator and writer of John Wick, John Wick 2 and the upcoming third film set to release in 2019. With his expertise in creating a character like John Wick, it should be child's play to craft a new narrative around the mythos of Agent 47.
Since the games initial launch in 2000, Hitman has sold over 25 million copies and tells the mysterious story of Agent 47, a meticulous and lethal assassin. Although there have been two feature films released by Fox already, 2007's Hitman and 2015's Hitman: Agent 47, neither was able to capture the essence of the beloved game. The studio's goal with this new partnership is to delve into the mythology of the video game without branching off too sharply, as the feature films were accused of.
How will Hulu and Fox avoid the problems of the original films?
Although there were some fans, myself included, who enjoyed the first film, seen above, starring Timothy Olyphant - it veered away from the original premise of the games, where a highly-skilled cloned assassin-for-hire carries out missions for the mysterious Agency. In the 2007 film, Olyphant portrays Agent 47 trained out of an orphanage to become a master assassin for The Organization. Although set in a different continuity, the film just didn't match up to the expectations of the fans.
Several years later, the 2015 reboot, Hitman: Agent 47 introduced a now enhanced super-soldier portrayed by Rupert Friend. This film's reception was even lower than the original - but that doesn't seem to worry Hulu or Fox since they're determined to bring the franchise to life as a new flagship series for Hulu to draw in new viewers that haven't pulled the trigger on a Hulu account.
With the focus on developing the series more closely aligned with the game franchise, Hulu and Fox still have their work cut out for them, yet transitioning to a multi-episode series format will definitely go a long way toward stemming the jaded view of video game adaptations over the years.
Why is it so difficult to adapt a video game in Hollywood?
Yet, the transition to the small screen could be just what a series like Hitman needs, as it would allow for some serious character development and story progression over the course of several hour long episodes.
With a more flexible format, introducing true narrative should allow for a video game adaptation to flourish in this sort of medium. As long as Hulu allows time for the series to develop across multiple episodes, then its very possible that Hitman could become a staple on the streaming provider. It could also give Hulu more room to grow as it would show their aptitude to develop and distribute something that matches the caliber of current shows we're seeing on Hulu's primary competition of Netflix and Amazon.
What do you think, could Hitman survive on Hulu?