Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans to star in Russo Brothers' The Gray Man
Joe and Antony Russo certainly haven't been resting on their laurels since 2019's Avengers: Endgame marked the end of a box-office busting run of four movies for the MCU. Since then, they've served as producers on a handful of films including the Chadwick Boseman-led 21 Bridges and Natalie Erika James horror Relic, and are currently in post-production on their first post-MCU film as directors, the upcoming crime thriller Cherry, starring Tom Holland and Bill Skarsgård.
That hasn't stopped them from setting their sights on their next project, however, and the pair are set to adapt Mark Greaney's 2009 novel The Gray Man, an espionage thriller centred around the story of CIA agent turned gun-for-hire Court Gentry. Bankrolled by Netflix, who have benefitted from huge rises in subscriber numbers due in no small part to pandemic-related lockdowns, the Russo Brothers have reportedly been handed a whopping $200 million budget for the film by the streaming giant. What's more, they've also landed their leading men for the film in Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.
Gosling is set to play Gentry, according to a report published this weekend by Deadline, who will be pursued across the globe by Chris Evans in the role of CIA agent (and former colleague of Gentry's) Lloyd Hansen. Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have also been brought in to add polish to the Joe Russo-penned script.
The Gray Man represents Netflix's most ambitious financial investment in a movie to date, but it's not just the success of the Avengers movies they're banking on - the Russo Brothers' production company AGBO was also behind Sam Hargrave's action-thriller Extraction, which became Netflix's most-watched original movie earlier this year.
Joe Russo also explained that, If all goes well, The Gray Man could be the first in a series of films, telling Deadline: “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.”