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‘Hit Man’ Director Richard Linklater Says Studios ‘Really Didn’t Want to Make the Film’: Movies Get ‘Greenlit by the Marketing Department’ and Have ‘Become Really Safe Choices’

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Ellise Shafer Richard Linklater is opening up about the hurdles to producing his latest movie, “Hit Man,” saying that studios initially “really didn’t want to make the film.” In a new interview with the BBC, the celebrated director of “Dazed and Confused” and the “Before” trilogy said that he and Glen Powell — who stars in the film and co-wrote the script — worked on the film “very independently.” “Glen and I wrote it speculatively and we didn’t get paid anything, we just tried to get the film made,” he told the BBC. “We really felt we were onto something, we felt we had written a film noir, a crime film that’s also a screwball comedy about a couple that you’re rooting to be together, but I think they wanted it to be just one thing.” Based on a true story, “Hit Man” stars Powell as Ron, a part-time police staffer who ends up going undercover as a hitman to arrest those that hire him.

Along the way, he meets a woman (Adria Arjona) who wants him to kill her abusive husband, and they strike up a romance as he attempts to hide his true identity.

The film premiered at Venice Film Festival last year to rave reviews, and was later picked up by Netflix. However, Linklater said that he and Powell had “frustrating conversations” with “studios and people like that” when trying to get their support. “They wanted Ron to be a real hitman, something they’d seen before,” he said. “Anyway, then we made the film, and it got a wonderful response.

Netflix was always passionate about it, but the others kinda weren’t, I think they weren’t sure if they could sell it to an audience.” When asked about the current state of the film industry, Linklater weighed in on the debate surrounding studios opting for franchises and IP over original.

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