Is Glen Powell’s ‘Hit Man’ Based On A True Story?

Richard Linklater‘s latest film Hit Man lands on Netflix this week after a brief stint in theaters that was paired with Glen Powell being disgustingly charming in various promotional interviews.

In Hit Man, Powell portrays Gary Johnson, a part-time police staffer who begins to work undercover to catch the real criminals. The film is very loosely based on Skip Hollandsworth’s 2001 Texas Monthly article of the same name in which the real life Gary Johnson worked undercover as a hitman in Houston.

While the story is inspired by Johnson, Linklater told Netflix that much of the plot is a fictional, exaggerated version of the story. The director said, “The real Gary did slight disguises, but not to the extent that we see in the film. I was like, ‘Should we really do a Russian accent?’ But Glen just pushed all of that to the max, and I love how it came out.”

When it comes to the real Gary, Linklater managed to meet with him a few times while writing the film. “He was just the most nonplussed guy,” Linklater told Vanity Fair. “We would talk about baseball or something, but he was a man of few words actually.” In 2022, when the film was nearing the end of production, Linklater reached out to Johnson again, before learning that he had died.

Linklater also wants it to be known that unlike the Powell’s character, the real Gary did not actually kill anyone. Let’s keep his legacy clean.

Hit Man is now on Netflix.