Netflix is planning to turn The Gray Man into its own action franchise. The streamer announced plans to produce a sequel with Ryan Gosling and directors Joe and Anthony Russo returning. There will also be a spinoff written by Deadpool team Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese.
The Gray Man hit Netflix on Friday and was an instant smash with audiences. The movie debuted at number one in 92 countries, overcoming mostly negative reviews from critics. It also earned a 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The untitled sequel will also see writer Stephen McFeely (Avengers: Endgame) returning. The Russos and AGBO's Mike Larocca will produce with Joe Roth and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum for Roth Kirschenbaum Films. The spinoff will explore a "different element" of The Gray Man universe, but Netflix offered no further details.
"The audience reaction to The Gray Man has been nothing short of phenomenal," Joe and Anthony Russos said in a statement. "We are so appreciative of the enthusiasm that fans across the world have had for this film. With so many amazing characters in the movie, we had always intended for the Gray Man to be part of an expanded universe, and we are thrilled that Netflix is announcing a sequel with Ryan, as well as a second script that we're excited to talk about soon."
The Gray Man is based on the novel by Mark Greaney and marked Gosling's first movie since 2018's First Man. Gosling stars as a CIA black ops assassin who goes on the run after finding incriminating secrets about the agency. Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick, and Rege-Jean Page also star. It was Netflix's most expensive film, costing $200 million to produce.
Greaney has written sequels to The Gray Man, but it's unclear if the film sequel will follow any of these stories. "The sequel will be inspired by the Mark Greaney novel," Joe Russo told Deadline. "Translating from one medium to another often requires interpretation, but we have an incredible amount of source material from an amazing offer. We'll draw on that for the sequel."
This is not the first time Netflix has announced plans to turn one of its hits into a franchise. In 2017, Netflix had high hopes to establish a universe around David Ayer's 2017 Will Smith sci-fi movie Bright. However, after an animated series was released in 2021, it was reported that plans for a Bright 2 were scrapped.
Netflix was more successful with Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead. A direct sequel is still in development, and a prequel, Army of Thieves, has already been released. The anime series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas is also in the works.