With the sad passing of actor Paul Walker in November 2013, many were curious how Universal would handle his character’s disappearance from Fast & Furious 7. After a brief hiatus, it looks as though a combination of methods will allow the character to retire gracefully, in memory of the actor. However, the future of the gargantuan car chase franchise overshadowed the fact that Walker was due to don the suit and red tie of Agent 47 to play the assassin in a rebooted film version of IO Interactive’s Hitman. As the world moves on, as it must, we thought we’d have a look at which actor would be best to take on the title character.
SPOILER ALERT: Skip the first two entries if you’re avoiding Homeland spoilers.
The Frontrunner: Rupert Friend
The Homeland actor and former squeeze of Keira Knightley is apparently the favourite to replace Walker, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter today. He’s certainly managed to kill many people as Peter Quinn, and has perfected a stone cold persona in that role. However, he is not as big a name as Walker, and is very similar in stature and prowess to former Hitman actor Timothy Olyphant, a history that does not bear repeating.
Rupert Friend’s co-star on Homeland, Lewis, is now out of a job thanks to his character’s execution in the season three finale. Lewis has been seen sporting a shaven head for many scenes in the show, and the similarity between him and the fictional Agent 47 was more than remarkable. The British actor has a track record of bringing gravitas to his roles, something any prospective Hitman producer should probably consider.
The third Brit on the list always sports a bald head, and has proven himself to be a capable action star in a number of franchises including The Transporter series and as one of Stallone’s Expendables.
The bongo-beating American has chopped his wavy locks off for roles before, notably when fighting futuristic dragons in Reign of Fire as the axe-wielding scene-stealer Denton Van Zan. Like Statham, he is getting a bit older, but Agent 47 is typically shown to be in his late 30s or early 40s, so it’s not too much of a stretch.
The character actor went toe-to-toe with Kevin Spacey in House of Cards and managed to bring real empathy to a dark, insidious politician. He has popped up in every TV drama under the sun, including a lead role in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming vampire series The Strain. He also has roles in no less than six films debuting this year, including one alongside Timothy Olyphant, called This Is Where I Leave You. This man’s career is on fire, and director Aleksander Bach would be foolish not to at least consider him for the role.