Dazed & Confused, A Scanner Darkly, and Boyhood mastermind Richard Linklater’s new project is coming to Netflix. Hit Man is a comedy, with man of the moment Glen Powell in the lead.

The story is based on a true-crime article. Skip Hollandsworth wrote the article for Texas Monthly in 2001. In the article, Hollandsworth detailed how “skilled hitman” Gary Johnson was sought after by many for his services.

What these people who hired him didn’t know is that was secretly an undercover agent for the police and his work usually led to him arresting those who attempted to hire his services. Johnson was able to keep a low profile with his neighbors, while, all the while, working with the police as a fake hitman.


Two leads and Linklater on set


Director Linklater is a friend of Hollandsworth and read the article when it was first published.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he and Hollandsworth began discussing the idea of adapting the article into a movie, and they began working alongside Glen Powell on the adaptation. The movie adaption changes things slightly and follows a mild-mannered psychology professor (Powell) who also posed as an undercover hitman for the New Orleans police.

When he breaks protocol to help a desperate woman (Adria Arjona) trying to flee an abusive boyfriend, he finds himself becoming one of his false personas and falling for the woman. This leads him on an unexpected journey where he has to question many of his own morals.

Austin Amelio, Retta, Sanjay Rao, Molly Bernard, and Evan Holtzman co-star.

Hit Man was shown at  The 80th Venice International Film Festival in September 2023, shortly followed by a showing at TIFF. It scored rave reviews and a six-minute standing ovation. Rotten Tomatoes scores were in the high 90s, leading to Netflix making a big offer.

Mike Blizzard, Linklater, Powell, Jason Bateman, and Michael Costigan produce.

Netflix will give the film a limited theatrical release on June 7th, the same date it premieres on the service.

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