They say the problem with reaching the top, is that there’s nowhere else to go but down. But that’s not technically correct. You can also go sideways. Such appears to be the case for Joe and Anthony Russo, the director brothers who gave us the biggest film in history last year with Avengers: Endgame. And for their next directing gig, they’ll be helming Netflix’s biggest movie ever. Well, most expensive, to be exact.
The Gray Man is an upcoming spy thriller that will see Netflix putting down a massive $200 million budget, according to a report from Deadline. That’s the biggest cheque ever cut by the streaming service, who has become known for their willingness to dish out massive movie budgets. And a big cheque needs big stars to help guarantee a return on investment, so the Russos are once again turning to their Marvel-ous leading man Chris Evans.
The directors made their Marvel debuts with Evans’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier before helming Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and the aforementioned Endgame, so they’ve got the working relationship together. Evans is not actually the leading man here though, as that role goes to Blade Runner 2049 star Ryan Gosling. Based on a series of best-selling novels from Mark Greaney, The Gray Man will see Gosling in the titular starring role as a freelance assassin and former CIA operative named Court Gentry. Evans will star as Lloyd Hansen, Gentry’s former CIA teammate-turned-nemesis who is hunting “the Gray man” across the globe.
The film is being produced by the Russo’s AGBO production house with Joe Russo penning the first draft of the adaptation himself before Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the screenwriting duo who wrote all of the Russos’ Marvel movies, polished up a final draft. According to what Joe Russo told Deadline, “The idea is to create a franchise and build out a whole universe, with Ryan at the center of it.”
We have all committed to the first movie and that’s got to be great to get us to the second movie. These are master assassins and Gosling’s character gets burned by the CIA and Evans’ character has to hunt him down.
Continuing, Russo namedropped Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a superhero film that took quite a few cues from classic spy thrillers, as a touchstone. (And still the best Marvel Cinematic Universe film overall, if you ask me)
The movie is a real mano a mano between those two great actors who represent two different versions of the CIA, in what it can be, and what it can do. For those who were fans of Captain America: Winter Soldier, this is us moving into that territory in more of a real-world setting. That’s what this movie really means for us.
The intention is for it to be competitive with any theatrical, and the ability to do it with Gosling and Evans is a dream for us.
The Russos’ AGBO has a solid relationship with Netflix at the moment having produced Extraction (starring another Marvel alum in Chris Hemsworth), which the streamer recently proclaimed as its most-watched original release ever. I’m sure everybody involved will hope for the same type of reception for The Gray Man, and based on the calibre of names attached here, that’s probably a good bet.
Last Updated: July 20, 2020