After several delays, Netflix's big budget spy thriller, The Gray Man, has finally started filming. The movie will be led by Drive star Ryan Gosling whose title character is being chased across the globe by Avengers: Endgame star Chris Evans. Marvel collaborators Anthony and Joe Russo are stepping behind the camera, with Netflix investing a huge amount in The Gray Man which will reportedly have a budget upwards of $200 million.
Based on the 2009 debut novel by Mark Greaney, and from a screenplay co-written with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, The Gray Man follows a former CIA operative turned freelance assassin named Court Gentry, who is also known as the Gray Man. Ryan Gosling will star as Gentry, who is being hunted by his former CIA cohort Lloyd Hansen, played by Chris Evans. Alongside the A-list one-two punch of Gosling and Evans, the project has amassed a stellar supproting cast including Knives Out star Ana de Armas, Bridgerton's Regé-Jean Page, Luke Cage star Alfre Woodard, Iron Fist's Jessica Henwick, and Hollywood icon Billy Bob Thornton.
The plan is for The Gray Man to spawn an action franchise for the streaming giant, with Joe Russo previously saying, "The intention is for it to be competitive with any theatrical and the ability to do with 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."
Clearly the Russo Brothers have big plans for The Gray Man, envisioning both sequels and spin-offs in the franchise's future. The filmmaking duo have even compared the movie to another famous spy, James Bond, revealing that they plan to film on location despite current circumstances. "We have an incredible team and Netflix has been very supportive. [the current situation] hasn't impacted our location shooting," Joe Russo 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."
As well as the scope of the Netflix movie, Joe Russo has also teased Chris Evans' leap from America's greatest hero, Captain America, to the part of villain. "He's a really unique character, and this is Evans as a villain so it's a really interesting character and I think he's going to get to flex quite a bit in this role," Russo said of Evans' character, Lloyd Hansen.
The Gray Man was initially supposed to begin filming in mid-January, but like so many productions over the last year, these plans were put on hold due to the ongoing global situation. Still, it looks like things are now ready to get going on this exciting project. This comes to us from The Russo Brothers' official Twitter account.