Texas Monthly has had a big year in film and television. After the success of Max’s Love & Death, which debuted April 2023, the magazine will see another of its stories brought to life onscreen: the feature film Hit Man. Co-written and produced by director Richard Linklater and actor Glen Powell and based off the 2001 Texas Monthly story by Skip Hollandsworth, the film will premiere at the eightieth annual Venice International Film Festival on Tuesday, September 5, with the North American premiere to follow at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, and a stateside premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 3.
The film centers around the story of Gary Johnson, Houston’s deadliest assassin. The twist? He’s working for the cops. Things become complicated when Johnson starts to fall for one of the potential criminals—a young woman named Madison, played by Adria Arjona. In a blurb posted by the New York Film Festival, Hit Man is described as a “peppy sunlit neo-noir—based on an improbable true story, with a few wild embellishments. [The film] is a continually surprising delight: co-written by Linklater and Powell, it’s a cleverly existential comedy about identity that deepens in meaning as it escalates in absurdity.”
Though the film itself is set in New Orleans, the project is helmed by two proud Texans in Linklater and Powell, and the original storyteller—Skip Hollandsworth—is credited as a consultant on the project. Texas Monthly’s Scott Brown and Megan Creydt are both executive producers on the film.
This isn’t the first time Linklater has drawn inspiration from Hollandsworth’s journalism; the 2011 film Bernie, starring Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine, was based on his 1998 Texas Monthly article “Midnight in the Garden of East Texas.”