Fox Reloads ‘Hitman’ With Paul Walker, Mendes Joins Gosling’s ‘Monster’ and Bean Joins Wachowskis’ ‘Jupiter’


Paul Walker1.) When Fox’s video game adaptation Hitman grossed nearly $100 million worldwide on a budget around $20 million back in 2007, you would have thought the studio would make a sequel a priority. The follow-up was discussed on-and-off for years, but never came to fruition, most likely because original star Timothy Olyphant was never keen on returning to the franchise (or shaving his head in general). He recently went as far as telling the Nerdist podcast he only did the first one so he could pay for his new house after getting blindsided by the sudden cancellation of “Deadwood.”

Anyway, Fox has now decided to reboot the actioner as Agent 47 with Paul Walker starring as the barcoded assassin. The script was written by Michael Finch (Predators) and Skip Woods (A Good Day to Die Hard), with commercials director Aleksander Bach making his feature debut. The move makes sense for all involved as Walker could certainly use a big role to help him stay relevant outside the Fast franchise as they look to shoot Agent 47 this summer after Walker makes the press rounds for Fast & Furious 6. [Deadline]

2.) Another video game adaptation coming together of late is DreamWorks’ car racing picture Need for Speed, which has just added Michael Keaton to its cast that already included Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots and Kid Cudi. Directed by Scott Waugh (Act of Valor), the plot centers on Paul as a street racer fresh out of prison who engages in a cross-country gauntlet as he tries to exact revenge on the man who framed him. Keaton’s character is the eccentric host of an underground supercar race where he invites the best drivers from around the world. [THR]

Sean Bean3.) Cloud Atlas may have flopped financially, but that isn’t stopping the Wachowskis from assembling an impressive cast for Jupiter Ascending. Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis and Eddie Redmayne were already on board, and Sean Bean (“Game of Thrones”) has now joined the cast as a rogue Han Solo-type character. The film is the first in a planned trilogy set in a universe where humans are watched from other worlds. The heroine is a Russian immigrant played by Kunis who, unbeknownst to her, possesses the same perfect genetic makeup as the Queen of the Universe. Kunis? Good genetics? You don’t say. [Deadline]

4.) Ryan Gosling is mixing business with pleasure, reportedly adding Eva Mendes to his directorial debut How to Catch a Monster. The film has been described as a dark fantasy noir, with Christina Hendricks starring as a single mother swept into a macabre underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Mendes will play “Cat,” a prominent figure of the Big Bad Wolf Club. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds provocative. The cast also includes fast-rising Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, Killing Them Softly). [Bloody Disgusting]

5.) After departing the sequel for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Rupert Wyatt appears to have found his next outing in the form of the World War I drama Birdsong. Wyatt has reportedly already written the script based on the Sebastian Faulks novel about a young English soldier exploring his relationship with a married French woman and his experiences fighting on the frontline. BBC told the story last year in the form of a 2-part mini-series starring Eddie Redmayne and Matthew Goode. [Screen Daily]