It’s quite a shame that Richard Linklater’s stellar memory piece Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood seemed to come and go last month with little fanfare, but a friendly reminder that it’s available to watch as long as Netflix is still around. Along with a new Criterion Channel retrospective, the Austin-based director is back in the spotlight as his next project has been unveiled.
Variety reports Linklater will direct the action comedy Hitman, reuniting with Everybody Wants Some!! and Apollo 10½ star Glen Powell, who will also co-write the script with the director. In the refreshing news, this is not another reboot of the videogame series, but rather telling the stranger-than-fiction, real-life tale of Houston’s Gary Johnson, a staff investigator at the Harris Country district attorney’s office who goes undercover as a hitman to catch people ordering said hit.
Based on Skip Hollandsworth’s 2001 article for Texas Monthly magazine, Linklater and Powell’s version follows his character when he “breaks protocol in order to help a desperate woman (Adria Arjona) trying to escape an abusive boyfriend.” It certainly makes for an entertaining set-up that seems attuned to Linklater’s abilities, and there’s no doubt the popularity of a show like Barry may have had something to do with the green light.
Production will kick off this October, which means a 2023 release is in the cards. Meanwhile, Linklater is also still developing separate biopics telling the tales of con artist John Brinkley and comedian Bill Hicks.