Fox Puts Out A Contract On ‘Hitman 2′

I have fond memories of the original video game-to-film adaptation of “Hitman” for one reason and one reason only. That’s where I met my good friend John Constantine, who submits some great lists and opinion pieces here on MTV Movies Blog each week. We bonded over a misguided film critic’s assertion that the movie isn’t for kids even though it is based on a game. I quickly pointed out that an M-rated game is not for kids either.

I digress. The point of the above anecdote is that “Hitman” wasn’t a particularly great movie. Star Timothy Olyphant is a talented actor, and he did bear a striking resemblance to the game’s Agent 47 — admittedly not a difficult thing one the bald cap is in place — but the fact remains that the adaptation fell considerably short of what it could have been. Maybe that’s par for the course when it comes to game adaptations, but it also makes Fox’s latest move all the more puzzling.

The studio has hired screenwriter Kyle Ward, a relatively untested young writer. While he doesn’t have a major motion picture release under his belt, Ward also penned the script for “Kane & Lynch,” another video game adaptation, albeit one that released to abysmally poor reviews and a fair bit of controversy.

There’s no mention of whether “Hitman 2″ will tie directly into its predecessor, but Variety reveals that it opens with Agent 47 “at a low point.” The story will follow the once-star hitman as he recovers “psychologically and physically,” regaining his top spot in the pantheon of ace assassins. A noble pursuit, to say the least.

The Variety piece also reveals that the story will incorporate story elements from the “Hitman 5″ video game, which is due for release in “late 2010.” I spent several years covering the video games beat before coming here to MTV, but this is the first official word I’ve heard of “Hitman 5.” No one has ever really doubted that we’d see another entry in the popular series, but this is the closest to a timetable that I’ve seen released for it.

Did you see the original “Hitman”? Did you find any redeeming qualities there? Are you looking forward to the sequel? Want to see Olyphant return?