It’s been a big week for Netflix. The streaming site revealed it has added 10 million new subscribers. Then it shared the viewership totals for its ten most successful original films. Now the company is taking its deepest plunge yet into the world of blockbusters. They are opening up the vaults for The Gray Man, its most expensive big-budget film yet. And they’ve signed some huge names to bring it to the screen. The Russo Brothers will direct a cast headlined by Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. Ana de Armas, Evans’ Knives Out costar, will also star in the film, per Deadline.
A film that, if Netflix has its way, will launch an entire franchise.
Deadline reports Netflix has set its sights very high for The Gray Man. The streaming behemoth is said to be looking “to create a new franchise with a James Bond-level of scale and a budget upwards of $200 million.” With such outsized aspirations, they’ve tapped the two men who led the highest-grossing film in history, Avengers: Endgame‘s Joe and Anthony Russo. Joe Russo wrote the script with input from Captain America scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
The movie is based on Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel of the same name. This is the book’s synopsis from the author’s official site:
“Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man—a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.
Now, he is going to prove that for him, there is no gray area between killing for a living—and killing to stay alive.”
Gosling will star as the hunted Gentry being chased around the world by his former CIA colleague Lloyd Hansen, played by Evans. Greaney’s best-selling book became a best-selling series, and Netflix reportedly has plans to turn the initial film into its own franchise.
Anthony Russo described the movie to Deadline as 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.” And Joe Russo said the movie’s scale will make it “competitive with any theatrical” release.
There’s no mystery what Netflix is trying to accomplish here. Not with an all-star cast and crew in front of and behind the camera. But with a budget of $200 million The Green Man might be a more accurate title.
Featured Image: Lionsgate
Originally published on July 17, 2020.