Video-game adaptations are a dime a dozen, but it’s rare that any of them are worth even a cursory glance. The Resident Evil franchise, BloodRayne and Silent Hill are just a few of many that have fallen completely flat in their attempts to replicate the thrills of their source material on the big screen. However, based on casting alone, 20th Century Fox’s upcoming Hitman remake Agent 47 may actually be worth checking out.
With Homeland actor Rupert Friend stepping into the title role (replacing the late Paul Walker), and Zachary Quinto set to play the main villain, Agent 47 already has more going for it than most video-game adaptations. Now, it looks like the film will boast more than one baddie, with news that Thomas Kretschmann has signed on to play Le Clerq, the chairman of an nefarious organization called Syndicate International, which schemes to build its own army of assassins.
Kretschmann has built a career playing nasty characters, including an unhealthy amount of Nazis in films like Downfall, Eichmann, Valkyrie and new release Stalingrad, so there’s little doubt he’ll be able to bring a suitable amount of menace to Le Clerq. The actor is certainly having a banner year so far, seeing as he recently booked a multi-film deal with Marvel playing the evil Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who’ll first appear in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Agent 47 is just one more high-profile project that’s likely to gain Kretschmann more recognition with audiences stateside.
Plot details are still under wraps, but it’s not much of a stretch to predict that the actioner, about a bald assassin named 47, will focus more on crafting elaborate action sequences than implementing an original storyline. On that note, the team in place to script Agent 47 doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. Original Hitman screenwriter Skip Woods, who also penned the godawful A Good Day to Die Hard, is on board to write Agent 47, along with Machete Kills scribe Kyle Ward and Predators writer Michael Finch. Of course, not everything Woods has done is terrible (he wrote Swordfish), but I’m not under any illusions about the kind of film he’ll be aiming to make with Agent 47.
Directed by newcomer Aleksander Bach, the film will also star Hannah Ware (Starz’s Boss, Shame), Emilio Rivera (FX’s Sons of Anarchy) and Rolf Kanies (Downfall). Shooting is now underway in Berlin, so I’d expect to be seeing Agent 47 sometime early next year.