Hit Man: Did Gary Johnson and Maddy Masters End Up Together in Real Life? Did They Really Have Kids?

Netflix’s black comedy film ‘Hit Man’ ends with Gary Johnson and Maddy Masters forming a family and having children. After Maddy kills Ray, her abusive husband, the duo deals with the threat of Gary’s colleague Jasper, only to drug and kill him. The turn of events clears the police officers’ suspicions concerning Maddy’s involvement in Ray’s murder, which helps the couple open a new chapter of their lives. Regardless of the lies and crimes they get entangled with, they find a way to cherish their familial bond. Even though Gary is based on a late undercover hitman, the family we see at the movie’s end wasn’t exactly part of his life!

Gary and Maddy’s Relationship is Fictional

Although Gary Johnson was a real undercover hitman who operated similarly to his counterpart in the film, the relationship between him and Maddy, which forms the emotional crux of the story, has no basis in reality. The film is based on a profile written by Skip Hollandsworth for Texas Monthly, chronicling Gary’s life as a fake hitman in Houston, Texas. While working as an undercover helper for the police, Gary never dated one of his clients. The romantic elements were added to the mix by director Richard Linklater and actor Glen Powell, who wrote the black comedy.

Linklater and Powell were inspired by a girl Gary met later in his career to create Maddy. She was a young woman, seemingly based in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood, who had been subjected to domestic abuse and violence by her boyfriend. She was trapped in her relationship and lacked the courage to leave him because she feared him. As a result, she decided to hire an assassin to kill her partner, but as Gary assists Maddy in the film, the real-life hitman helped the woman to contact social service agencies and a therapist.

Gary’s limited interaction with the abused young woman became the genesis of the central relationship in the film, as both Linklater and Powell zeroed in on it as a key aspect of the narrative. While writing the screenplay, Powell suggested that both of them concentrate their efforts on the woman Gary helped. “I told Rick, ‘I think that’s the story. That’s the thread we need to pull. We still had the real Gary Johnson baked into our character, but the love story is where we started taking our creative license,” the actor told Netflix. That was how the fictional love affair between Maddy and Gary was born in the narrative, despite it not having any basis in reality.

Gary Did Not Have Any Kids

Even though the viewers are treated to scenes of Gary and Maddy spending time with their kids at the end of the film, the real-life hitman did not have any kids. Richard Linklater and Glen Powell conceived the fictional children and integrated them into Gary’s life story. Both felt that Gary’s profile, published by Texas Monthly, did not have an interesting enough conclusion. The director struggled with the lack of emotional agency and needed something more. “I just got kind of obsessed with it and over the years thought about it, but it never quite came together in my head as a movie because the story doesn’t seem to go anywhere,” the filmmaker said about the conclusion of the profile, which led him to the climax with the kids.

The real Gary was immensely different from his fictional counterpart. He didn’t have any long-term relationships, let alone the idea of conceiving a child. Most people close to him described him as a lone wolf. The man had divorced all three of his wives and had fathered no children with any of them. But he was on friendly terms with his second wife, Sunny. “The true essence of Gary is that he is a loner. He’ll show up at parties and have a good time, and he’s always friendly, but he likes being alone, being quiet. It’s still amazing to me that he can turn on this other personality that makes people think he is a vicious killer,” she told Skip Hollandsworth for the Texas Monthly profile.

Thus, except for Gary’s engagements with his “clients,” he mostly kept a low profile and lived on his own. He passed away in 2022 and had no wife or children at the time. Gary’s life as a father in the final sequences of the movie can be seen as a satisfactory ending to his extraordinary life despite it being fictional.

Read more: Hit Man: Where Was the Netflix Movie Filmed?