20 Jul - Having two sizzling stars as the leading men has given Netflix a boost of confidence to invest generously, very generously, in the upcoming movie adaptation of "The Gray Man".
It was reported by Deadline that two of Hollywood's most bankable actors, Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, will be teaming up for the movie.
Judging by the reactions from fans online, everyone is already looking forward to the duo heating up their screens as Gosling's titular character, a freelance assassin and former CIA operative who also goes by Court Gentry, gets hunted across the globe by Evans' Lloyd Hansen, Gentry's former cohort at the CIA.
Netflix will be injecting USD200 million into the action thriller that's based on Mark Greaney's 2009 novel of the same name.
This makes it significantly higher than the budgets for the likes of Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" (approximately USD140 million), the Will Smith-starring "Bright" (USD90-100 million) and the Ryan Reynolds-led "6 Underground" (USD150 million).
The project will also reunite Evans with the Russo brothers, their first time working together since he was last seen as Captain America in the duo's "Avengers: Endgame".
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 [it] 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 Russos most recently worked with Netflix on "Extraction", also reuniting them with another "Avengers" star Chris Hemsworth. Following its release last April, the USD65 million-budgeted movie became the streaming platform's most-watched original film. A sequel is now in development.
"The Gray Man" was originally a New Regency project with James Gray attached to direct Brad Pitt in the leading role. Though that didn't pan out, the Russos continued developing the project for the past few years.
International locations are still being finalised but production on "The Gray Man" is expected to begin in Los Angeles next January.
(Photo source: Getty | Glamour)