With only a couple weeks to go before Hitman arrives in theaters on November 21, we're getting word from Timothy Olyphant himself that something happened with director Xavier Gens (who's making his English-language debut with the film), and Olyphant believes he may have been fired at some point during production. You'll remember there was a rumor going around (via Twitch) that Gens was canned from the editing room because Fox wanted to tame down the violence and chase a PG-13 rating. Not long after that, The Hollywood Reporter blog popped up with some news of their own which claimed Gens was not fired, and that Fox was still aiming for an R rating (or at the very best, a Hard R). Great! Wonderful! Let's kill some people!
But wait! Speaking to Hitman star Timothy Olyphant during a junket recently, CHUD reports the actor kind of confirmed reports that Gens got the shaft at some point. When asked whether Gens was there for the re-shoots, Olyphant replied, "He's involved. I saw him when I was there [doing the reshoots] but he did not direct the reshoots. I heard the talk on that, that he was fired. I kept saying I was trying to get that guy fired for months. They finally fired him? Fuck! I was saying that forever. He doesn't speak English, didn't anybody see that?" It's important to note that Olyphant was joking when he said that last part about not liking Gens, but it's interesting to learn that Gens was not directing the re-shoots, even though he was still on set. What's up with that?
And about the rumor that Fox was trimming the violence, Olyphant replied: "There's no way it's not a violent film. We'd have a forty five minute film - we shot a very violent film. If there's any truth to that rumor at all, there's always a conversation about what you're trying to elicit from the audience. There's a difference between the violence in James Bond films - especially the ones from the past - as opposed to the violence in a Quentin Tarantino film versus violence in a horror film or something designed to make you uncomfortable. As far as I'm concerned the conversations were about that, finding the right tone and not about this idea of toning it down or making it anything less than an R-rated film." So there you have it: Gens was maybe fired (or put in the corner, or given a time-out, or something), and Hitman will be one helluva violent film. I cannot wait.