Image: IO Interactive
Hulu has slowly made a name for itself in the original programming game with such works as The Path, Difficult People and The Handmaid’s Tale all appearing on the service. It can now add a beloved video game to its impressive roster that will surely cause tons of fans to flock for a subscription.
Deadline exclusively reports that Fox 21 Television Studios and Hulu have officially green-lit an original television series based on Hitman, the best-selling and beloved video game franchise from IO Interactive. The creator and writer of the first two brutally action-packed John Wick films, Derek Kolstad, is set to write the pilot script for the series. Kolstad will certainly be busy within the next few years as he is also penning the third John Wick film which is set for release in 2019, along with this Hitman pilot. He will also be tackling executive producing duties along with Adrian Askarieh and Chuck Gordon who both worked as producers on the previous Hitman films.
According to the report, the intention of the series “is to hew closely to the mythology of the perennially popular video game” with the ultimate hope being that it becomes a “flagship series” for the streaming service. As someone who is a massively huge fan of the component of the game that encourages achieving a silent assassin achievement, my hope for the TV series is that it focuses more on 47 being an actual methodical hitman that actively strives to not be caught than the focus on a shoot-em-up aspect seen in its film counterparts.
The Hitman series launched in 2000 with the release of Hitman: Codename 47 and has had numerous game releases since then on multiple platforms. Fans are given the chance to play Agent 47, an enigmatic and meticulous assassin with a certain set of deadly skills. The most recent addition to the franchise aptly titled Hitman sold 7 million copies with IO Interactive announcing two more games currently in development.
The series has already spawned two live-action film adaptations with 2007’s Hitman wherein Timothy Olyphant stepped into the shoes of the veteran assassin and 2015’s Hitman: Agent 47 which saw Rupert Friend portray the titular character. While the films ultimately made money (mostly thanks to the foreign box office as the domestic take was horrendous), they both managed to be an absolute pain to sit through and offered nothing of substance for critics or audiences.
Although the films aren’t the greatest works to write home about, let’s face it: every installment of the game certainly has its respective issues (except maybe 2006’s Blood Money) and if it’s executed right, this upcoming series could potentially be a stellar adaptation of some killer source material. The rich mythology behind the game allows for something like a TV series to fully develop every character while also exploring the man behind the barcode. With a name like Kolstad working on the writing, the series has the potential to showcase the calculated nature of 47 while also containing the beautifully graphic John Wick-esque combat set in the Hitman universe. As the series is in its initial development stage, there is no word yet on when we can expect it to release on Hulu.