Luke Cage star Alfre Woodard is reportedly being courted to join Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in Netflix's upcoming action thriller epic The Gray Man. Should she sign on to the project, Woodard would play the role of Maurice Cahill, an old friend of Gosling's lead, Gentry. Her character is in poor health, but nonetheless assists the fleeing assassin from Evan's CIA agent, Hansen.
Alfre Woodard would be a very welcome addition to proceedings, with the actress having proven her talent time and again in the likes of Netflix's Marvel series Luke Cage, the Academy Award winning 12 Years a Slave, the television drama Empire and the recent live-action remake of Disney's The Lion King. Woodard was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award back in the 80s for the 1983 biographical drama Cross Creek, and more recently received a lot of awards buzz for her role in director Chinonye Chukwu's Clemency.
Filming on The Gray Man was recently pushed back by a few weeks due to rising cases in California. Sets are currently being built, with the movie initially due to begin production as early as January 18, but, with the change in circumstances, Netflix instead decided to push production back two weeks, meaning we will have to wait a little longer before seeing superstars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans chase and fight each other across the globe.
Based on the 2009 debut novel by Mark Greaney, The Gray Man follows a former CIA operative turned freelance assassin named Court Gentry, who is also known as the Gray Man. Gosling will star as Gentry, who is hunted across the globe by his former CIA cohort Lloyd Hansen, played by Evans, with Knives Out star Ana De Armas also recently added to the cast.
The Gray Man will be one of Netflix's biggest investments to date, with the budget reportedly set at upwards of $200 million. The Gray Man is being directed by Avengers: Endgame's Joe and Anthony Russo, with the filmmaker brothers recently revealing that they are planning for the movie to spawn a franchise centered on Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling's characters. While speaking at last year's CCXP event, Joe Russo explained that the first movie will not leave audiences with all the answers, making way for more adventures to come. "What we're doing on Gray Man that's different [is]... we're not gonna answer every question in the first movie," he said.
"This is being conceived as a series of films, and again, potentially branching out, we could follow other characters, but we're not gonna answer every question in the movie. So you're gonna finish the movie, [and] have a complete story, but you're still gonna have questions about the wider universe. And I think that's one way to break the model a little bit, is to not give the audience everything in one film. Don't have a close-ended narrative. Have an open-ended narrative that's [like] a chapter in a book."
Clearly the Russo Brothers have big plans for The Gray Man, envisioning both sequels and spin-offs in the franchise's future. Joe Russo teased how such a big budget is being spent, revealing that the story will take the characters to a variety of different locations all over the world akin to James Bond and Jason Bourne, and that they plan to press ahead and film on location in all of them, despite the ongoing global situation.
"We have an incredible team and Netflix has been very supportive. [the current situation] hasn't impacted our location shooting," he said. "This is a big, global spy thriller. Its intent is, it's gonna hit a lot of different locations, and we're still gonna film in those locations. So, we're excited about that because it's really important to the storytelling that we visit these different locations."
This comes to us courtesy of The Illuminerdi.