Glen Powell is currently at Sundance, where his upcoming film, Hit Man, screened yesterday. The film was bought by Netflix out of TIFF last year, and now has a new teaser trailer and a release date of June 7. It will have a limited theatrical run before dropping on Netflix, which is par for the course for Netflix, but depressing for Hit Man, which is a genuine “audience movie”, absolutely made to be seen with a crowd. As I said in my review out of TIFF, it’s “wildly entertaining”—Hit Man was one of the most fun movies I saw in theaters last year. I wish everyone would have that chance, but as is, most people will see it on Netflix.
It occurred to me after seeing Anyone But You that Hit Man is basically the movie Anyone But You tried to be. Anyone But You promised us sex and romance and comedy and delivered a little bit on the sex and comedy but fell flat on the romance since Powell and Sydney Sweeney turned out to have rather flat on-screen chemistry. That hasn’t stopped Anyone But You from topping $100 million, though, as it has become the unlikely hit of the holiday movie season. At Sundance, Powell addressed the film’s success and his support of the rom-com genre. He subscribes to the Harry Styles/Charles Melton School of Honoring Female-Centric Entertainment:
The success of Anyone But You just tells me Netflix is really going to miss the boat this summer by not going wide with Hit Man. People are obviously hungry for sexy rom-coms at the cinema, imagine how well an actually good movie like Hit Man could do. As a bit of summer counterprogramming to the blockbusters, with Powell’s star power and the allure of a Richard Linklater crime comedy? It could be the sleeper hit of the summer! Instead, it will sit on your Netflix home screen for, maybe, a week before vanishing into the streaming ether.
Anyway, the teaser for Hit Man is solid, asking “who is your hit man” while showing a montage of the many personas Powell plays throughout the film (he’s having SO much fun, it’s infectious and his charisma leaps off the screen). We also see Adria Arjona as a woman who approaches one of these personas, though the teaser stops there and doesn’t introduce more than the basic setup—this guy has a lot of identities, he crosses paths with this girl. It’s a solid teaser, though it is hilarious of a Netflix movie to include “a genuine crowd pleaser” as a pull quote, given that they are not in the business of nurturing crowds to be pleased. I will die mad on behalf of this film! It deserves so much more!
I do wonder if any of the traditional studios that passed on Hit Man last fall because they were apprehensive of the commercial appeal of an R-rated, genre-bending rom-com are looking at the success of Anyone But You and kicking themselves. Glen Powell is a bona fide star, and Hit Man is actually a good, funny, sexy rom-com with a thriller vibe to boot. Especially in a post-Anyone But You world, where Powell is cemented as a modern rom-com Romeo, it’s SUCH an easy sell. And they handed it to Netflix because no one has the gumption to bet on movie stars anymore. I will never not be mad about this.
Here is Glen Powell at the Hit Man Sundance screening yesterday, alongside Richard Linklater and, of course, his parents.