'Hitman'I may have to hold my nose for this one. Hitman 2 is in development, says Variety, and 20th Century Fox has hired Kyle Ward to write a script that incorporates elements from "Hitman 5," a video game due for release in late 2010. So a movie sequel will be cribbing from a video game sequel, and more crappy product will fill the corporate pipeline.

Reportedly, the first Hitman was made for $30 million. It grossed $40 million in the US and $60 million overseas, according to Box Office Mojo. The overseas total and DVD sales must have pushed it well into the black, ensuring that a sequel would be inevitable. Putting aside the bottom line, the film itself was relentlessly mediocre. I entered with modest expectations, having heard that Fox had taken the project away from director Xavier Gens, who made the ferocious horror thriller Frontière(s). The studio denied the rumors, but Hitman felt flat and flaccid, only occasionally offering glimpses of the brilliance Gens had shown. Whether it was sophomore slump or studio interference, I ask you: did anyone leave the theater pumping their fist in the air, shouting, "More! I want more! More Hitman! Now!"

I didn't think so. Timothy Olyphant, who was so good in Deadwood, wasn't a very compelling assassin, and Olga Kurylenko supplied nothing more than decorative value. For those who care, Hitman 2 finds Agent 47 "at a low point. He must build himself back up psychologically and physically to reclaim his mantle as the world's most feared assassin." I can hardly wait.