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Diesel powering 'Hitman' game to big screen

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Vin Diesel, who returned to box office glory recently with the family comedy "The Pacifier," is bringing Agent 47 to life.

He has signed on to star in 20th Century Fox's upcoming adaptation of "Hitman," the best-selling video game franchise from Eidos and developer IO Interactive. Diesel also will serve as executive producer.

"Hitman: Codename 47" launched in December 2000 and introduced Agent 47 -- a ruthless gun for hire who has a clean-shaven head and always wears a stylish black suit -- who is hired by "the Agency" to kill targets for cash. The game and its three sequels have garnered a worldwide following.

The "Hitman" franchise has sold more than 2.6 million units and generated more than $96.3 million in the U.S., according to the NPD Group. The franchise has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide, according to Eidos, which also was the company behind the "Tomb Raider" franchise.

The latest title, "Hitman: Blood Money," was on display at the recent E3 show in Los Angeles; it will ship in the U.S. in the fall for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC.

"'Hitman' is a project that by the virtue of its DNA can and will reach far beyond its already substantial core audience," said Adrian Askarieh, who will serve as a producer. "The canvas on which this adventure takes place is something that movie audiences have embraced for the last 40 years."

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