With the Marvel and DC universes finding their niche in the film industry, it was only a matter of time before other outlets started bringing new ideas to the table. Video games are wildly popular among both sexes and at any age and [Hitman: Agent 47](tag:593267) recently took to the art of turning the video game into a silver screen fantasy.
Hitman: Agent 47 (starring Rupert Friend) shows us an elite genetically engineered assassin who deceivingly works his way to his target to eliminate the possibility of cloning future engineered soldiers like himself.
For those of you who haven't seen the trailer:
According to Forbes, the first game, Hitman: Codename 47 was launched in 2000 and has developed six sequels to date, with a seventh entry to release this December in time for Christmas, titled simply Hitman. The series is noted for its detailed plot and characters, which change over time and expand into an ever-growing story of betrayals and new revelations about characters and their origins or motives.
While the idea of bringing video games to life isn’t a new one, Hitman: Agent 47 has brought along a few new ideas that may lead to the next revelation in the movie industry.
The film has received mixed reviews, but it’s rough around the edges persona may be exactly what filmmakers need to develop further video game film adaptations.
Here are a few things Hitman: Agent 47 got right:
New Characters, New Experiences
Video games are great because they come with a story line up with characters that you become vaguely attached to as you maneuver them through their virtual world.
The problem with turning games into films is that it can limit further story line development as most film executives want to keep fans happy by sticking to the original story. Producer, Adrian Askarieh, decided to take a different approach when making Agent 47.
Having never played Hitman, I tried to imagine to video game version of Katia van Dees while I watched the film. And it wasn't hard to do!
Come to find out, Katia isn't even a character from the games. Askarieh said,
What we’ve done with this movie is that the story is completely brand new. The Katia van Dees character [played by Hannah Ware] is not even in the games. But [the film] uses, as a springboard, the origin of Agent 47 and the origin of the Agent program. So that gives us the anchor we need to be able to tell a story that, even though it’s unique and new, it’s still true to the universe.
Movie goers love a good reference that reminds them why they came to see the movie in the first place. You find it in nearly every Disney movie with the “hidden mickey” and the cameo of Stan Lee in the Marvel films is a glowing reminder of how the universe was originally developed.
Agent 47 made sure not to let their video game enthusiasts down with these hidden gems:
- During a series of quick cuts, a man can be seen holding a Sony PlayStation video game controller. The first Hitman video game debuted on multiple consoles including the PlayStation 2 in 2000.
- There is a direct reference to the video game franchise made in one brief scene where a yellow rubber duck is seen floating in a bathtub along with a partially submerged toaster.
Involve the Fans
Producer Askarieh says that the reason for the failures of past video game adaptations is because the people involved in making them were not huge fans. It's come to a turning point with Askarieh who is a huge video game nerd. He knows how to make a video game into a great film.
Another exciting fact is that in the month's prior to the movie's release, 20th Century Fox and IGN Entertainment launched a social media campaign in order to find Hitman Agents 1 through 46.
Contestants entered mostly by adorning themselves in Agent 47 cosplay costumes and were judged by a panel where the winners were officially given numeric designations in the Hitman canon.
Amp Up the Scenery
Set mostly in Singapore and Berlin, filmmakers took the initiative to actually take their characters on location to provide the audience with spectacular scenery.
The colors popped, the architecture was amazing, and it gave Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto a badass backdrop for their fight scenes.
Not to mention, the international scenery does well to heighten the appeal to foreign box offices.
Video games just might be the next big trend in Hollywood.