After spending the better part of a decade working exclusively in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Russo brothers are looking to recharge their creative batteries with a variety of different projects. Having recently finished up true-life Tom Holland thriller Cherry, which is being pegged as an awards season contender, the siblings are now set to return to the world of big budget blockbusters.
Joe and Anthony’s AGBO production company have developed a solid working relationship with Netflix so far after producing the streaming service’s most popular original movie ever in Extraction, while action pic Mosul recently debuted on the platform to critical acclaim. The Avengers: Endgame directors will also be getting back behind the camera for The Gray Man, an espionage thriller that comes armed with a massive $200 million budget and Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling attached to star.
In a recent interview, the Russos offered up some new details on their next effort, and unsurprisingly admitted that The Gray Man is being viewed as just the first installment in a major franchise for Netflix.
“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, 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 a chapter in a book.”
The filmmakers also teased an epic globetrotting spy thriller that sounds like it could comfortably turn out as Netflix’s in-house equivalent of something like James Bond, Jason Bourne or Mission: Impossible.
“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. Gray Man is a spy film. For fans of The Winter Soldier, The Gray Man is similar in a sense that we’re trying to embed it in a very modern, current environment that we’re facing on a global level in terms of spy networks and the CIA. It’ll be fun to see Chris in the opposite role of Captain America.”
The literary adaptation starts shooting next year and stars Gosling as former CIA agent Court Gentry, who turned his hand to becoming an assassin after leaving the organization, and Evans plays Lloyd Hansen, a former friend and colleague that’s been tracking Gentry around the world in an effort to bring him to justice. With the biggest budget ever handed out to a Netflix original and the directors of the highest-grossing movie in history at the helm, you can bet that The Gray Man is going to be nothing short of massive.