Deadline is exclusively reporting that Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans have signed up to star in Netflix espionage thriller The Gray Man, which is being directed by Joe and Anthony Russo.
The thriller, based on the Mark Greaney novel of the same name released in 2009, is a deadly duel between killers as Court Gentry is hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen, a former cohort of Gentry’s at the CIA.
Ryan Gosling (whose credits include Blade Runner 2049 and First Man) will be playing the role of Gentry and Chris Evans (whose credits include Avengers: Endgame and Knives Out) will be playing the role of Lloyd Hansen. It’s believed that the film could lead to a franchise for Netflix, and the expectation is that Gosling will continue playing Gentry in future installments.
The project was originally in development years back at New Regency, with Brad Pitt and James Gray initially being eyed for it but stalled, and since then, The Russo Brothers have quietly been developing the project for years. Netflix are going all in on the project, with The Russo’s being given a carte blanche with a budget upward of $200m, which is an astounding budget for a Netflix original film project.
Speaking to Deadline about the project, Anthony Russo said:
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. 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.
Joe Russo added:
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.
The novel was adapted by Joe Russo, with the script polished by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, with The Russo’s AGBO producing the project.