The story was originally written by Vincent Ngo in 1996. It languished in development hell for years and had various directors attached, including Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Jonathan Mostow, and Gabriele Muccino before going into production in 2007. Hancock was filmed in Los Angeles with a production budget of $150 million
In the United States, the film was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America after changes were made at the organization's request in order to avoid a R rating, which it had received twice before. The film was presented and widely released on July 2, 2008 in the United States and the United Kingdom by Columbia Pictures. Hancock received mixed reviews from film critics and grossed more than $620 million in theaters worldwide.