Netflix is set to make their biggest blockbuster movie ever with The Gray Man, an espionage thriller which will be directed by the Russo Brothers and stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans at the forefront.

Streaming giant Netflix is constantly trying to level up their game in the streaming wars. They’ve already attracted high profile auteurs like Martin Scorsese, Noah Baumbach, Alfonso Cuaron, Spike Lee, and continue to go for Oscar gold. While they’ve also been leveling up in regards of blockbuster entertainment. The streaming service is teaming up again with the Russo Brothers and they’re sparing no expense.

The Gray Man is set to be Netflix’s biggest film yet with a $200M+ budget which will be directed by the directing duo Joe and Anthony Russo. Joe Russo wrote the script, which was then polished by their fellow MCU writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Hollywood certified handsome men, Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, will star in the espionage thriller. The plan is for the film to kick off a James Bond-level franchise.

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The Russos quietly have been developing this for years. The action-thriller is described as “a deadly duel between killers as a freelance assassin and former CIA operative named Court Gentry (Gosling) is hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Evans), a former cohort of Gentry’s at the CIA.” The movie is based on Mark Greaney’s bestselling novel.

Synopsis of The Gray Man novel

The Gray Man novel cover

To those who lurk in the shadows, he’s known as the Gray Man. He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. Always. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. Forces like money. And power. And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighting for. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. But Court Gentry is going to prove that, for him, there’s no gray area between killing for a living and killing to stay alive.

The Gray Man is the first in a series of novels, and the plan is to expand the movie adaptation into a series as well, with Gosling expected to return for multiple installments. There are a total of 10 books in Greaney’s series with the tenth novel coming next year. This means the studio is planning to set up a long franchise with a large volume of source material to adapt.

Deadline first reported the news, in which 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 talking about the film’s scale said:

“The intention is for it to be competitive with any theatrical, and the ability to do 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 film will be produced by AGBO’s Russo Brothers and Mike Larocca (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), along with Joe Roth (Maleficent) and Jeff Kirschenbaum (Wanted) for Roth Kirschenbaum. They are eyeing a January start date for filming in Los Angeles, with also international locations being finalized. Seems like Netflix is placing a lot of faith in Russo Brothers as they are working on multiple projects for Netflix and creating a surprise hit and possible franchise with Extraction.

[Click on Page 2 for more on The Gray Man and the Russo Bros.]