When people think of a hitman they often think of a cold hearted killer stalking their target from the shadows. In the upcoming film, How to Be a Hitman 101 a different and refreshing perspective is given.
Producers from How to Be a Hitman 101 were on the hunt for an actor who could bring greater dimension and a humanity feel to a role that is traditional one dimensional. Most hitman in film are played as ruthless killers, somber and focused exclusively on the single goal of eliminating their target. Rarely have viewers been granted an inside view of the mindset and inner workings of the hitman world.
Samuel Finch, the lead hitman character from this project has been portrayed in the comic book adaptations of How to Be a Hitman 101 as calculating yet compassionate. A hard core hitman with a very realistic human approach. “Samuel is someone that people can relate to,” The producers pointed out, “He’s not the traditional cold and distant killer that simply has a job to do. He is understanding and slow to murder. He knows what’s he’s doing and wants to do it with honor”
In searching for the actor to portray hitman Samuel Finch, an actor who understood the character was needed. Someone who could understand and play the depth of character required to make the audience believe and feel a real connection.
After a significant search they found Douglas Vermeeren.
Vermeeren a relative unknown started his acting career at a young age and played several smaller roles and bit part over the years. Mostly he has been known for his roles playing himself in a several person development documentaries. Recently he expanded to playing roles as police officers, spies, gunslingers and detectives. It was only natural for him to shift into the role of hitman.
Vermeeren did his fair share of paying his dues on movies sets. His is also a tale of inspiration start gin as a background performer and slugging it out on movie sets until his big break came along. Vermeeren is an advocate that much of his success came from years of hard work which included acting classes and high levels of hard work and sacrifice. Like most actors he has plenty of tales of failed auditions and moments of self doubt. But he is a true testament that perseverance pays off.
“Doug brings a special something to Samuel Finch.” Producers of the film shared, “When we saw how he brought Samuel to life we knew that he was our guy.”
Vermeeren’s portrayal of Finch is a more humanistic approach that reveals the inner thoughts and workings of a hitman. Instead of the cold blooded killer we sees in Vermeeren’s interpretation a hitman who is an introspective considerate person who most people would be comfortable bringing to a family reunion.
When asked about his portrayal of the hitman, Samuel Finch, Vermeeren states, “When I was first offered the opportunity to play Samuel Finch my mind went back to an acting class I took years ago, The instructor very wisely taught that all characters are people first. They are really human.” This went a long way for Vermeeren in a world where many actors take a stereotypical approach to playing mobsters, prostitutes, drug dealers and the like. “Finding the human parts of Finch and truly discovering his motivations made him real for me.”
Vermeeren also points out that what makes How to Be A Hitman 101 work is that the film presents the characters as people we can relate to. “This film wouldn’t work as well in my opinion if we didn’t see ourselves as Samuel or any of the other characters in the project. I think if we are honest everyone has at one time wondered what would it be like to live in the dangerous world of a hitman. Sure it might be interesting for an afternoon, but what is it that makes people dedicate their life to that? I wanted to find those answers.”
Many who have had a chance to see the previews of the film are agreeing that Douglas Vermeeren did find those answers and in a very intriguing way.
Excitement for the project is already growing and quickly developing a loyal fan base. Exclusive collectible merchandise is already appearing in specialty comic and collectible stores. Yet these items are creating quite the controversy.
The How to Be a Hitman 101 training manual is one of the most popular items. It is a handbook that shares the trade secrets of how to be a hitman, including a ‘ticket to the annual convention.’
The manual is an extremely limited edition collectible and quite rare to find. The reason why it is becoming so sought after is that some States are banning its sale fearing that it is encouraging hitman style activities. Whether this is true or not is the subject of debate.
The fact remains that many people are seeking these items, even it’s just a matter of curiosity.
The How to Be a Hitman 101 training manual originally sold for $24 USD mint condition copies, yet it has now been reported at auction for over $500 for the same copy. Each one is individually numbered and certain units in the series come with bonus materials. One thing is certain about the merchandise accompanying this film – they sure know how to make being a hitman seem fun.
Not all is turning out positive for How To Be A Hitman 101. In fact, the film and accompanying merchandise is stirring up more than some controversy. For example, parent groups are beginning to take notice and have questioned why a film with an 18+ rating would be producing merchandise for youth. How to be A Hitman 101 seems to be finding its place in controversial properties like Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and other ultra-violent entertainment properties.
When asked about this controversy the production company simply responded by warning audiences not to judge the project without seeing it. “As with almost everything in How to be A Hitman 101 everything about the film is not as it seems.” They are also adamant that their intended audience is indeed 18 years and older.
Douglas Vermeeren beamed about the film sharing that he was,“extremely proud of this film and excited to be a part of it. I know some people are worried about the potential extreme violence of the project, but it’s been handled in a unique and creative way that I think was quite clever.” Producers also were quick to point out that conflict and violence have been common in storytelling long before the invention of motion pictures.
How to Be a Hitman 101 will be appearing in a variety of film festivals globally and then coming to select theatres in April of 2023.