Hitman Film Does What Few Game Based Flicks Can
Gamers are often extremely skeptical of movies based off video games. Such films rarely do justice to the games themselves, and often times end up being bad films on their own. The previous Hitman film faced such a fate, but the next Hitman flick is likely to not follow suit. In his directorial debut, Aleksander Bach took the role of bringing Agent 47 to the big screen in Hitman: Agent 47. At a press event for the new Hitman title, Antwand Pearman got to talk to the director and learn just how much heart and respect he poured into Hitman: Agent 47.
GamerFitnation: I saw the trailer for this one, and I was like, “I think this guy’s going to capture it. The way it’s going, they’re not making it like he’s (Agent 47) some hero, they’re making it more of circumstance, and he’s a threat.”
Aleksander Bach: But of course, the way they sell it, there’s so much action in the trailers. Which is not bad, but it’s all about the intelligence of Agent 47, and the stealth, and how he operates in the movie. That’s why I was always happy to say and feel that the movie is better than the trailer. Very often, it’s the other way around. I just respected this character a lot.
GF: I can see that.
Bach: And you know, when you read some stuff online (saying) “did he even play the games” — Guys, of course. And also, one question I can answer is, for example, so many fans ask why he’s not bald and why he has some hair left. It’s so simple. I say “Guys, Agent 47 has eyebrows, did you ever think about this?” So, he genetically has hair. I wanted to make him a little bit authentic and real in this kind of world, and I think it’s important to, at the end, care for him from being such a badass to being a person who changed. He’s a classical anti-hero for me.
GF: You didn’t make it like he’s a super hero. When I was watching, there were details. I love details. The details you caught were costume changes. I was like, “Thank you, man!” When you had him change in the first one, and he walked and got caught and he took the second one, I said “Oooh, great!”
Bach: That’s about Agent 47. I knew these kind of things, and it never made it in the cut, but I also told Rupert often, what Agent 47 is often doing is moving with his hat with his hand behind his barcode. Little things, or I was trying to imagine how 47 [slept]. He’s a clone but he’s a human and I -
GF: I respected that too. It wasn’t like he was just sitting there. It was more so he slept sitting up.
Bach: I tried to create some rituals for him. Rupert and me, we think about what can we do, and we came up with this idea that he has this ritual; that the last thing he does before he falls asleep is take off his guns and put them next to him. These kind of things, he does it later again, and I love these kinds of details, and I think they’re important.
GF: There is one part I thought was really cool. When he first sits down when he was going to sleep, you show the scene and you cut away. I said that was cool, because some people may hold the camera there for a long period of time and do an elapse in time. We know what he’s doing—you don’t have to show us. The very fact that you just showed it and you left it to us to understand, you didn’t treat us like we were stupid. I thought that was really cool. You had other aspects of gameplay in there, like the environmental kills [that] I was not expecting. You did a whole scene where they were walking around and doing environmental kills throughout the airplane hangar. That was awesome.
Bach: That, for me, is Agent 47. And that’s [what] we’re looking for: iconic moments from the game. That’s one where he’s really behaving like he is in the game.
GF: Furthermore, when you introduce the villain. When I saw [Agent 47] first interact with the main bad guy, I thought, “Wait a minute, he can’t be normal. He can’t be, and he wasn’t,” and I said, “Oh, that’s cool”. And then how you presented it was a very brief moment when Agent 47 was caught, but it was ego that saved his life. You not only captured that, but you captured ways that make a good movie.
Bach: That’s what is so challenging. It’s exactly what you say. I knew that I wanted to create a movie for the second fifty percent, and I wanted to make a movie people like, love, and care for even if they don’t know the game. For this, you need a great story and great characters; this is what I said before. When you marry these two things together, bringing it to the next level, there is a chance to create something fresh.
GF: I would like to assume that you worked really close with Rupert in the development of his personality.
Bach: We did. The cool thing is that Rupert is a very intelligent man, and I imagined him, he has style for me. He’s a gentlemen, and somehow it was a mixture of the world of James Bond-style kill in a Tom Ford suit, like a gentleman, and he is. He isn’t randomly killing people. He has his assignment he has to fulfill, and he does everything to get there, and that was important. Otherwise, it starts to be random, or you don’t care, and Rupert took that direction and vision. I’m proud of him.
GF: He still executed in a way inadvertently, and I thought it was cool. Now that you’ve played the games, are you going to continue playing the Hitman games?
Bach: The new one comes out December, right?
GF: They brought it here. You should continue being a gamer man, it’s an awesome lifestyle.
Bach: Thank you so much.
GF: Don’t let any critics get to you man, you captured something.
Bach: I was thinking how can you [capture something] because the gamers are (…) a haters community. Haters gonna hate it. Every gamer is his own director. For me, it was so important to nail it in the sense of what is the DNA of Agent 47.
GF: I’m gonna play devil’s advocate. Movie adaptations of video games… There are so many bad ones [that] we automatically assume that when there’s another, it’s going to be bad. We are ready to tear you apart. I personally saw where you were going; I saw through the action of the trailer. I was actually looking forward to this one because I was hoping [I] was right.
Bach: Yeah, I don’t know what it is. Maybe they don’t respect the characters, maybe they don’t respect the games.
GF: I feel like they look at their vision more than they actually try to pay attention to the essence.
Bach: Story and characters, you need them.
GF: I don’t feel like you should follow the video game so down to the line because then, to regular people, it’s going to be boring. You have to look at the bigger margin, you want to please gamers, but you also want to please people who don’t understand video games. So for people who’ve never seen Hitman, I hope they get what they feel, and I hope gamers get what they feel.
Bach: Plus I wanted to achieve it so that women are interested in this film. Because it’s such a strong female role.
GF: I respect the female aspect of what you did, because she wasn’t presented in a way of being weak or dependent on the man. You didn’t [make a] love interest and I was like, “Props”.
Bach: I wouldn’t buy it. I was thinking that it’s wrong. In this case, it’s wrong. I love romance, but in another context, in [other stories], but not with Agent 47.
GF: You did a great job, and you presented her as an equal—No, actually, you presented her as a superior to Agent 47. Every move he made was more so understanding that “you’re more superior to me, I don’t have to save your life, you can save your own d$%@ life.” It gets to a point where she says after this, “I’m going to kill you”.
Are you excited for this promising new Hitman film? If so, be sure to go to your local theatre and check it out! It will be available for public viewing on August 21 this year. Also, be sure to keep your eyes out for the next big Hitman video game simply titled, Hitman. This new title will be released on December 8 this year for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
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Edited by Alex Miller