After delivering the only action cinema we get to see all summer, Netflix is setting itself up for another major blockbuster. The streamer announced it’s partnered with the Russo Brothers’ production company AGBO to adapt The Gray Man for the small screen. It casts Ryan Gosling in the lead role of Court Gentry and Chris Evans as the CIA agent chasing him, Lloyd Hansen. Not only are the names big for the film, but so is the budget. Netflix is committing upward of $200 million to the movie, making it the biggest film it’s ever greenlit, outstripping the initial cost of The Irishman by around $25 million.
Joe and Anthony Russo will direct the film. Joe Russo, with the help of Avengers writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, wrote the screenplay, adapting Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel of the same name. In the book series, Court Gentry (aka The Gray Man) is an ex-CIA agent who now works as an elite assassin. With Hansen coming after him, the film will make for an elaborate (and very handsome) game of cat and mouse.
“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 said. “For those who were fans of Captain America: (The) 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.”
What the movie means for Netflix is another notch in its dominance of action cinema in the streaming world (not to mention theatrical at the moment). The studio sees this as a franchise, with Gosling returning for many films as it launches a movie series to rival James Bond. It makes sense then that Netflix would commit that much money, especially after the incredible success of the AGBO-produced Extraction, which has a sequel in the works.