Netflix Produces The Grey Man; Featuring Gosling, Evans With Russo Brothers To Direct
During the current pandemic, Netflix has gained over 10 million subscribers and now Netflix has found its golden crown in the budget. An ambitious and expensive espionage thriller starring in highlighted The Gray Man.
Russo Brothers Joe and Anthony return to the directing a blockbuster after the Avengers duology, ending last year. Their plan is to create a high-level franchise in the same class of the James Bond with a budget of up to $200 million.
“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,” Anthony Russo told Deadline. “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.”
Russ’s own AGBO is producing with the script penned by Joe Russo polished by writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The co-writers happen also to be Co-presidents at AGBO. The film itself is based on Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel The Gray Man who is a freelancing assassin and a former CIA. Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum for Roth Kirschenbaum also set to produce the film. The production starts in January with locations scouting in the final phase.
Joe Russo mentioned that the scale might be massive in terms of world-building to the planned franchise:
“The intention is for it to be competitive with any theatrical and the ability to do with Gosling and Evans is a dream for us. 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 characters gets burned by the CIA and Evans’ character has to hunt him down. We have a great working relationship with Netflix, and we go back almost 20 years with Scott Stuber. We formed AGBO to be an agnostic storytelling company, where we figure out the best platform. We think Netflix is the perfect place for this film.”
Gosling is playing Gentry in a killing match with Lloyd Hanse played by Evans. The books were a successful series and it’s indicated that Gosling will return for more feature films. Prior to this deal, Brad Pitt/James Gray aimed to developed it but ended in a loop. The Russos have developed the project in silence for years.
“We hope to get that into production by late fall or early spring, COVID dependent,” Joe Russo said. “It’s based on a tremendous book, a modern-day fable that deals with magical realism and telling the quintessential Middle Eastern refugee story.” Added Anthony Russo: “There is this element of magical realism to how the experience of being a refugee ends up playing out.”
Besides having this project in store, Extraction with Chris Hemsworth is returning with a sequel along with Sam Hargrave as director once more. AGBO has also an Amazon-deal of a thriller series starring Richard Madden. The brothers are also developing Hercules for Disney and developing Exit West with both Michelle and Barack Obama and their Higher Ground Productions.