20th Century Fox has Spanish helmer Daniel Benmayor in the crosshairs to direct Hitman 2. Will original star Timothy Olyphant return? That is unclear at this point, but Benmayor will make his Hollywood debut on the sequel to the film based on the Eidos videogame about a master assassin. Fox is planning a fall production start.
Benmayor, the Barcelona-born NYU grad created a following shooting Spanish commercials for Sony PlayStation, Renault, Mercedes, Heineken and Samsung. His feature debut come on the Spanish language action film Paintball, in which adrenaline junkies get dropped in a dense forest for a paintball match, and find that someone is using real ammo. Benmayor just wrapped Bruc, about a 19th Century Catalan drummer boy who helps gives Napoleon’s army its first taste of defeat. Studio Canal releases the film in the fall. The director was signed by Verve, which is making the Hitman 2 deal.
The original Hitman grossed $100 million worldwide on a $30 million budget. Adrian Askarieh, Alex Young and Chuck Gordon are producing, and Daniel Alter is exec producer. Daniel Casey has written the most recent draft, which Kyle Ward was originally hired to write. The sequel includes elements from the vidgame Hitman 5. Agent 47, is a beaten man and must build himself back psychologically and physically to reclaim his mantle as world’s most feared assassin.
I’m told there is an option on Olyphant, but it’s unclear if he will shave his head and return as the killer. Hard to imagine the studio is going to do better than the understated performer, who is building momentum playing the trigger-happy lawman Raylan Givens in Justified, the FX series based on the Elmore Leonard novellas.