Richard Linklater’s “Hit Man” is hitting 2024 Sundance with a West Coast premiere.
The baffling true story is adapted for the big screen by lead star Glen Powell and auteur Linklater, with the “Everybody Wants Some!” duo reuniting to co-write the script. Powell stars as a professor who poses as an assassin, falls in love with a would-be client (Adria Arjona), and loses sight of his (true) self.
More from IndieWire
The film premiered at 2023 Venice and screened at 2023 NYFF before debuting with a Spotlight premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.
Per the official synopsis: “Based on a Texas Monthly profile feature by Skip Hollandsworth, ‘Hit Man’ is the somewhat true story of a fake hit man. The film adapts the profile piece about real-life faux hit man Gary Johnson but imagines a more detailed inner life that ultimately skews from the truth to create a thrilling story and psychological study on the themes of identity.”
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote that while “Hit Man” misses the mark on some laughs, Powell and Linklater’s script “opts for broad charm” and highlights Powell’s performance. Meanwhile, “Anyone But You” and “Top Gun: Maverick” star Powell is reuniting with “Scream Queens” producer Ryan Murphy to make his Broadway debut.
He added of the two-season Fox comedy slasher series, “The amount of people that come up to me about ‘Scream Queens’ is shocking, probably more than anything else I’ve done. Maybe it ages like a fine wine.”
“Hit Man” auteur Linklater is embarking on a “Merrily We Roll Along” 20-year production and additionally hosting a 40th anniversary Sundance talk at this year’s festival. The “Dazed and Confused” director previously voiced to The Hollywood Reporter that he hoped the “best days” of indie filmmaking at not behind Hollywood.
“In your own area, you just have to persist and do what you can on behalf of the things that you believe in,” Linklater said. “Sometimes I’ll talk to some of my contemporaries who I came up with during the 1990s, and we’ll go, ‘Oh my God, we could never get that done today.’ So, on the one hand, selfishly, you think, ‘I guess I was born at the right time. I was able to participate in what always feels like the last good era for filmmaking.’ And then you hope for a better day. […] You have to believe that everything can change and that things can go back to being a little better.”
Watch Linklater and Powell discuss the intimate scenes of “Hit Man” at the IndieWire Studio at Sundance here.
“Hit Man” premieres on Netflix in select countries on June 7, with a prior limited theatrical release. “Hit Man” will be available to stream on Netflix in United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam. Check out the teaser below.
Who's your Hit Man? Glen Powell stars in the unbelievable true(ish) story of a hitman who gets his heart stolen. The new film from Richard Linklater premieres June 7 pic.twitter.com/VDHUoOXtGv
— Netflix (@netflix) January 22, 2024
Best of IndieWire