Homeland actor Rupert Friend is reportedly in talks to play a role originally held by the late actor Paul Walker, who died in a fiery car crash back on November 30, 2013. Walker was slated to star in Agent 47, a followup to the 2007 movie Hitman, which starred Timothy Olyphant.
Walker’s commitment to make the film was a part of getting the project approved, sources say. After his untimely death, it appeared that the film would not be able to proceed as scheduled. It was due to start production in February, but now does not have a major star attached. If the 32-year-old British actor is cast in the Aleksander Bach-directed film, this could allow things to move forward.
According to a report in Variety, it is not known what the plot of the movie will be. However, it is based upon the same video game franchise as Hitman. In the first movie, a hitman named Agent 47 was hired by a shadowy group known as “The Organization” and becomes involved in a political conspiracy, finding himself being pursued by Interpol and the Russian military as he travels across Russia and Eastern Europe.
Variety further reports the script for the movie was written by Skip Woods and Michael Finch. Adrian Askarieh, Chuck Gordon and Alex Young will be producing, with Daniel Alter as the executive producer. Distribution will be done by 20th Century Fox.
Friend is currently starring on Showtime’s drama Homeland as a CIA operative named Peter Quinn. His roles on the silver screen include parts in The Young Victoria and Pride & Prejudice.
Walker had several projects in the works prior to his death, including Fast and Furious 7, the franchise he is best known for. It was recently revealed that his character in the upcoming installment, Brian O’Conner, would “retire” than than die in the series. Walker passed away about halfway through filming the project.
Walker also appeared posthumously in the indie drama Hours, which was released just weeks after his death on December 13.
He had also completed shooting for a crime drama called Brick Mansions, but it unknown when it will be released.
The first movie, Hitman, made $92 million worldwide, according to Variety, while only costing about $25 million to make. Because of these moderate profits and the overseas popularity of the video game series, Variety reports that Fox is willing to give Agent 47 a try, even if they don’t have a star like Walker on board. If a capable actor like Rupert Friend takes on the project, most likely the movie’s production will proceed.
Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas are believed to have died almost immediately following the final impact of the crash. According to the autopsy report, the Porsche Carrera GT that Rodas was driving careened out of control, striking a curb, a tree and a concrete lamppost before spinning around 180 degrees, hitting another tree and catching on fire. The two men had taken the sports car out for a ride in Santa Clarita, California, where Walker was attending an event for his charity, Reach Out Worldwide. There has been a strong outpouring of interest and sympathy around the Internet in the wake of his death.
By Nancy Schimelpfening