What do you get when you combine two huge movie stars, the two directors of the biggest movie of all time, and $200 million? You get The Gray Man, a Netflix action movie starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling directed by the Russo Brothers. It’s the priciest and most commercially ambitious film in Netflix history.
According to Deadline, which broke the story, The Gray Man is intended to launch “a new franchise with a James Bond-level of scale.” It’s a swing for the fences that Netflix feels compelled to make to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded marketplace and confident making given the 10 million new subscribers it’s added during the pandemic.
Gosling will play Court Gentry, a former CIA operative who gets burned by the Agency. His ex-colleague Lloyd Hansen (Evans) is tasked with hunting him around the world. Joe Russo referred to the two main characters as “master assassins,” which should give you an idea of what to expect from the thriller.
“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.”
The film is based on the novel by Mark Greaney, which was successful enough to spawn eight sequels. Joe Russo outlined the brothers’ similar aspirations for the movie project.
“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 idea is to create a franchise and build out a whole universe, with Ryan at the center of it.”
That seems to imply that Evans’ character might not appear in later films, but this is the Russos we’re talking about here, so you should never assume that a character won’t come back.