Netflix's upcoming thriller The Gray Man has added multiple new cast members, with Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton and Alfre Woodard set to join the star-studded lineup, Deadline reports. Previously announced cast members include Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Wagner Moura, Jessica Henwick, Dhanush and Julia Butters.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, whose most recent blockbuster was Avengers: Endgame, The Gray Man will be Netflix's biggest-budget movie ever. The film is based on the 2009 novel by Mark Greaney and will follow the Gray Man, freelance assassin and former CIA operative Court Gentry (Gosling), as he is hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Evans), a former cohort at the CIA. Deadline previously reported that the film has a budget of upwards of $200 million with a goal "to create a new franchise with a James Bond level of scale." Greaney's novel began a bestselling book series, and it is expected that Gosling will continue in the role in multiple film installments. Production on the first film will begin in Los Angeles in two weeks.
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The Russo Brothers had previously been developing the project at Sony, but it was acquired by Netflix when it went on the market over the summer. It was previously developed several years ago at New Regency as a Brad Pitt/James Gray vehicle but stalled. "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," Anthony Russo said. "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 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 [production company] AGBO to be an agnostic storytelling company, where we figure out the best platform. We think Netflix is the perfect place for this film."