Fox sees Besson film as potential franchise

Timothy Olyphant has been cast in the lead role, Agent 47, in the Luc Besson-produced pic “Hitman” at Twentieth Century Fox. Tyro Xavier Gens will helm.

Fox sees the film as having franchise potential, and Olyphant’s deal allows for sequels.

Vin Diesel was previously attached as the lead but opted out to star in Fox’s big-budget tentpole “Babylon A.D.”

Production is slated to begin in March in Europe.

Skip Woods’ script is based on the “Hitman” videogame franchise set in the world of Agent 47, a genetically engineered assassin.

Besson is producing via his Europa Corp., along with Chuck Gordon and Adrian Askarieh. Daniel Alter co-produces.

Olyphant, who starred as Seth Bullock in the HBO series “Deadwood,” is filming Fox’s “Die Hard 4,” in which he plays a villain. He’ll next be seen in Sony’s “Catch and Release” as the romantic lead opposite Jennifer Garner.

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