Netflix Acquires Richard Linklater’s “Hit Man” at Toronto International Film Festival

Netflix Acquires Richard Linklater’s “Hit Man” at Toronto International Film Festival

Netflix News

Netflix has made its biggest acquisition from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) with the purchase of Richard Linklater’s “Hit Man” for $20 million. The film, co-written Linklater and starring Glen Powell, gained attention as one of the breakout hits at TIFF.

“Hit Man” follows the story of a New Orleans psychology professor who leads a double life as an undercover hit man for the police. It explores the hit-man genre in a comedic and existential manner. The film also premiered at the Venice Film Festival and received positive reviews.

Based on a true story documented in a 2001 Texas Monthly article Skip Hollandsworth, “Hit Man” drew inspiration from the account of faux-hit-man Gary Johnson. The story revolves around the professor’s wife, played Adria Arjona, who plots to have her husband killed.

In an interview at TIFF, Linklater explained that he and Powell decided to make the film before seeking a distributor to avoid the challenges associated with navigating the modern Hollywood system. He emphasized the changes in the industry, where algorithms and marketing have taken priority over personal interactions with studio executives.

Amidst ongoing strikes SAG-AFTRA and WGA, the film market at fall festivals has been disrupted. Speculations have arisen that studios and streaming services would be more eager to acquire finished films as potential pipelines of future content dry up. Therefore, the significant acquisition of “Hit Man” Netflix is seen as a notable success in a diminished market.

Netflix has previously distributed Linklater’s film, “Apollo 10 1/2,” and also acquired Anna Kendrick’s directorial debut, “Woman of the Hour,” after its premiere at TIFF. The streaming platform’s continued investments in independent cinema showcase its commitment to diverse and innovative storytelling.

– Film still of Richard Linklater: Photograph Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
– Texas Monthly article Skip Hollandsworth from 2001