Netflix shelled out $20 million for global rights to “Hit Man,” a (sort of) true crime comedy from director Richard Linklater and star Glen Powell.
The movie, which played to enthusiastic crowds at Venice and Toronto film festivals, follows Powell as Gary Johnson, a part-time teacher who moonlights as a mysterious gun man for hire. But there’s a catch if you pay him to off your cheating spouse or abusive boss — he’s working for the cops. When he breaks protocol to help a desperate woman trying to flee an abusive husband, he finds himself becoming one of his false personas, falling for the woman and flirting with turning into a criminal himself.
Linklater, whose credits include “Boyhood,” the “Before” trilogy and “School of Rock,” directed the film and adapted the screenplay with Powell, based on a Texas Monthly article by Skip Hollandsworth.
“Hit Man” has been well received by critics, with Variety’s Owen Gleiberman calling the film “a true-life screwball underworld romantic philosophical thriller comedy noir about the world’s unlikeliest undercover agent.” He praised the performance of Powell, saying he has “an offbeat leading-man vibe” and “looks like Guy Pearce flecked with Ryan Gosling, with a slightly goofy grin that radiates the purest sincerity.”
The cast also includes Adria Arjona (“Morbius,” “6 Underground), Austin Amelio (“Everybody Wants Some,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead”), Retta (“Parks and Recreation”), and Molly Bernard (“Sully,” “The Intern”).
Producers were Mike Blizzard, Linklater, Powell, Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan. Executive producers include AGC’s Stuart Ford, Zach Garrett and Miguel A. Palos, Jr., Cinetic Media’s John Sloss, ShivHans Pictures’ Shivani Rawat and Julie Goldstein, Monarch Media’s Vicky Patel, Steve Barnett and Alan Powell, and Texas Monthly’s Scott Brown and Megan Creydt.
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