The Gray Man Directors Already Planning a Shared Spy Universe for Netflix

Posted 2022/05/09 2 0

Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo are no strangers to the concept of a shared universe, and it sounds like they will be taking some of those lessons learned at Marvel and applying them to their upcoming Netflix action outing, The Gray Man. While the first The Gray Man, which features Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans as warring spies, has not yet been released, the Russo Brothers are already looking to the future and planning multiple follow-ups and spinoffs. As Joe Russo puts it…

“We never want to jinx it. But we’re already thinking through where it goes from here. We like to build out worlds, and we would rather gamble on the upside and put the energy and time in to build out that universe prior to the release, so that the ideas are more germane and organic. That’s how you build out a more complex mosaic narrative.”

Speaking with Empire Magazine, Joe Russo revealed that they have already started work on building a shared world using the first The Gray Man as the foundation. From there, they will continue to add layer upon layer, movie upon movie, thus launching a shared spy universe for the streaming giant.

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“We’re intimately involved in all of it. The focus is to make ‘Gray Man 2’. Our appetite is voracious and the intention is always to do more than we can.”

Based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Mark Greaney, The Gray Man centers on Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling), the CIA’s most skilled mercenary whose true identity is known to none, who accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets. Soon, he finds himself pursued by Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a psychopathic former colleague, who puts a bounty on his head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins.

The Gray Man Will Launch a New Franchise for Netflix

The plan is for The Gray Man to launch a new franchise for Netflix, with the Russo Brothers taking a hands-on approach to the story and direction within. The plan for a shared universe will be clear from the outset, with The Gray Man leaving plenty of threads and unanswered questions hanging come the first movie’s conclusion.

“What we’re doing on Gray Man that’s different [is]… we’re not gonna answer every question in the first movie,” Joe Russo said of their approach back in 2020. “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, [and] 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 [like] a chapter in a book.”

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, Jessica Henwick, Dhanush, Billy Bob Thornton, and Alfre Woodard, The Gray Man will land on Netflix on July 22, 2022.

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