Netflix Announces Their Most Expensive Movie Ever

Published on July 20, 2020

Netflix spent well over $150 million to produce Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Now, the streaming giant has committed $200 million to what’s going to be their most expensive movie to date. They’re betting big on the directors behind Avengers: Endgame, Anthony and Joe Russo, and their vision for an adaptation of the spy novel, “The Gray Man.”

Netflix’s Bond Franchise

Netflix is hoping to turn The Gray Man into their Bond franchise. The project already has two major stars headlining the movie, Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. They play two very different CIA operatives going head-to-head in a gigantic action movie. Joe Russo wrote the script, which Avengers scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely polished. 

A Return to Winter Soldier Territory 

Anthony and Joe Russo shot the best Marvel action around in Captain America: Winter Soldier. It was grounded, fast, and tactile. The action wasn’t an all out CG-fest that made it look more like a cartoon. To Deadline, Anthony Russo compared The Gray Man to that hit sequel: 

“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 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.”

A Follow-Up to Extraction

The Gray Man is the Russo Brothers’ followup to Extraction, which they produced for Netflix. It was a movie with excellent action but not much else. There was real lack of originality and excitement outside of the punches and gunfire. However, the movie was a massive hit for Netflix. Unsurprisingly, they want to stay in the Russo brothers’ business. Who wouldn’t?

When Will We See The Gray Man?

Ideally, the Russo brothers will start production early next year on the large-scale action movie, which we rarely see Ryan Gosling star in. The actor doesn’t star in many action movies, so there must’ve been something very compelling about The Gray Man beyond the talent and money involved. It’ll be the first movie Ryan Gosling has done with franchise potential. He’s always seemed apprehensive about those sorts of roles. We never see him play superheroes probably for a reason. He’s too interesting for those roles, anyway. 

Apparently, the Russo brothers have been wanting to make The Gray Man for years. Previously, Brad Pitt was going to star in the movie for the great James Gray (Ad Astra). For whatever reason, it never happened. Right now, the Russo Brothers have massive clout. Their names mean a lot to audiences and forever will after the Avengers sequels. With The Gray Man, it’ll be exciting to see the filmmakers accomplish with practical action with a price tag of $200 million. 

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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