The Unbelievable True Story Behind Hit Man On Netflix Who Was Gary Johnson?


Dive into the real-life story of Gary Johnson, the undercover operative who inspired Richard Linklater's comedy Hit Man.

The Movie's Plot

Gary Johnson , a police staffer, goes undercover as a hitman in New Orleans. His life takes a turn when a young woman seeks his help against her abusive partner.

Real-Life Inspiration

Hit Man is inspired by a 2001 Texas Monthly article by Skip Hollandsworth. The story follows Gary Johnson, a real undercover law enforcement official who posed as a hitman.

Who Was Gary Johnson?

Born in 1947, Johnson was a military police officer in Vietnam and later a police officer in Texas. He eventually worked undercover, posing as a hitman to catch criminals.

Undercover Operations

Johnson crafted various personas to trap those seeking a hitman. His ability to adapt made him highly effective in his covert role, leading to over 60 arrests.

A Soft Spot

Johnson once helped an abused woman escape her violent boyfriend instead of arresting her. This compassionate act inspired a significant plot point in the movie.

Fact vs. Fiction

While Hit Man stays true to many aspects of Johnson's life, it takes creative liberties, including a fictional romantic subplot and a dramatic third act.

Legacy and Production

Although Johnson passed away in 2022 and was not involved in the film, Linklater and Powell researched extensively to capture his essence, resulting in a tribute at the movie's end.