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The Untold Truth Of Hitman's Agent 47

Agent 47 from the Hitman franchise is routinely ranked among the most popular video game characters of all time. But the Hitman games have never really been about the character. As the world's most lethal and most bald assassin, 47's best trait is his chameleon-like ability to blend into a crowd and get close to his target.

Earlier games in the series did delve more into 47's backstory. He's a cloned assassin working for the International Contract Agency. He's killed the five men whose genetic material created him, gone rogue against the ICA, and survived assassination attempts on his own life. The most recent trilogy — 2016's Hitman, 2018's Hitman 2, and 2021's Hitman 3 – involves a mysterious "Shadow Client" who's been orchestrating a conspiracy inside the ICA. But these days, the main draws are the massive sandbox levels and the many elaborate ways to eliminate targets, not the pulpy backstory.

So, it's probably been a while since most of us have even thought about who 47 is or why he has a barcode on his neck. A lot has happened in 20 years, and here are some tidbits about Agent 47 that even the diehards might not know.

Agent 47 has killed at least 347 people

Agent 47 has killed a lot of people. Without even including the movies, the novel, or the mobile game, he's been the main character of seven full games, plus Hitman 2's "Sniper Challenge" missions. Earlier this year, Redditor u/iamtheguy55 counted up how many people 47 has "officially" killed on the job, and the number is at least 347.

Since the Hitman games are all about player choice, every player's actual number is different. Any level can be completed by simply gunning down every NPC, for example. But to arrive at this number, u/iamtheguy55 counted up the minimum number of NPCs the player had to kill to achieve a "Silent Assassin" rating in each level, which has been available in every game besides Codename 47. 

The number also reflects the changes in the series. While later games have offered many silent, non-lethal ways to take down pesky NPCs, Hitman: Codename 47 only provided his trusty fiberwire, which kills via strangulation. In earlier games, even the sneakiest players still occasionally had to kill unsuspecting guards. Now, the final body count is largely up to the player.

Two different Fast & Furious stars were going to play Agent 47

You probably don't remember either of the two Agent 47 movies, 2007's Hitman and 2015's Hitman: Agent 47. Neither of them are very good, but they would have been very different movies if casting had gone differently. We're not saying the movies would have been better or worse, but they definitely would have looked like an offshoot of the Fast & Furious franchise.

Vin Diesel originally signed on to star in and executive-produce the first Hitman. He eventually left the project, and the role went to Deadwood's Timothy Olyphant. Had Diesel stayed on, it could have completely changed the game franchise. At the time, Diesel had a video game production company and had worked on Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (pictured above). Diesel's deal would have made him the face and voice of the character, replacing David Bateson, and would have given him creative control over the games.

Olyphant wasn't asked to reprise the character for 2015's Hitman: Agent 47. Originally, Paul Walker was signed on to play the barcoded assassin. But after his untimely death, the role went to Homeland's Rupert Friend.