×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony Acquires ‘The Gray Man’ for Joe Roth and ‘Captain America’ Directors (EXCLUSIVE)

Sony Pictures has optioned the rights to author Mark Greaney’s novel “The Gray Man” with Joe Roth and Palak Patel on board to produce and Anthony and Joe Russo attached to write and direct.

The thriller is the first in a four-part book series written by Greaney that Sony has also optioned with plans to turn the property into a franchise. (The three other books are “Dead Eye,” “Ballistic” and “On Target”).

“We think this could be the next ‘Bourne Identity’ movie series,” Roth told Variety, adding,  “The Russo brothers are the most dynamic filmmakers working today.”

In the original book, a CIA operative-turned-assassin looks to evade mysterious forces as he tries to save the lives of the daughters who don’t know he exists.

The Russo brothers told Variety that while they are influenced by films and filmmakers that came out of the 1970s, they are still very much interested in making this property stand alone as its own film with no comparisons to past pics in its genre.

“We found the material to be very compelling and ultra realistic and has a great character at the heart of it,” Joe Russo said. “We are most interested in stories that are entrenched in the most modern elements that go on today and we think this book does an amazing job at explaining that.”

New Regency previously held the rights to the book and had it in development for several years with Brad Pitt attached to star and James Gray directing. When the option recently lapsed, CAA began shopping the project and it landed with Roth and Patel.

Patel aggressively went after the Russo brothers, who fell in love with the story.

Soon after Greaney blessed the package of Roth and the Russos, Sony’s production president Michael De Luca, who apparently had been interested in the books when he was a producer, immediately chased the property and took it off the market for seven figures.

Columbia Pictures is extremely grateful to Palak Patel, Joe Roth and the Russo brothers for trusting us with Mark Greany’s incredible novel,” said De Luca. “Palak has the best taste in the business and Joe’s track record combined with the Russo brothers blistering filmmaking will make ‘The Gray Man’ a phenomenal motion picture!”

The Russos, who are currently one of Hollywood’s hottest directing duos fresh off the massive box office hit “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which has grossed more than $700 million worldwide, are in the middle of developing the story for the next “Captain America.” Sources say that will be the next project they direct since the sequel is already dated for a May 6, 2016 release.

WME, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Karl Austen rep the Russos.

Roth says that as soon as the Russos can deliver the adaptation for “The Gray Man,” a male lead will be sought.

Roth’s “Maleficent,” starring Angelina Jolie, bows this weekend.

CAA repped the rights to the book along with Trident Media Group.

More Film

  • 'Avengers: Endgame' Cast Gets Hands and

    Watch Live: 'Avengers' Cast Gets Hands and Feet Cemented at TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood

    The Avengers have left an indelible mark on popular culture and now they are doing the same to the cement floor outside of the TCL Chinese Theater. Watch the livestream video of “Avengers: Endgame” cast Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans,  Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige imprinting [...]

  • Zachary Levi

    'Shazam!' Star Zachary Levi to Host 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards

    “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi will be suiting up next for the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards in June. Levi will emcee the award show on June 17 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. Nominees will be announced in the coming weeks. Fresh off DC Comics’ latest blockbuster, Levi is no stranger to [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    'Spotlight' Director Tom McCarthy Remembers Steve Golin as 'A Warrior and a Mensch'

    It was a brutal process to get “Spotlight” made. The movie was dead at least three times before we shot it because of financing problems, studio problems, deadlines, actors’ availability and the time of year we could shoot. There were moments when Steve and I were just going at it. We’d have hilarious late-night correspondence. [...]

  • "A War Within"

    SF Studios Scoops International Sales to 'Grandpas,' 'A War Within' (EXCLUSIVE)

    SF Studios has scooped international sales rights to Santiago Requejo’s heartfelt comedy drama “Grandpas” and Kasper Torsting’s WWI-set Danish love drama “A War Within” in the run up to Cannes. Both films are third-party pickups. “Grandpas” is a high-profile Spanish movie starring Carlos Iglesias (“Crossing Borders”), Roberto Álvarez (“Talk to her”) and Ramón Barea (“Everybody [...]

  • 'Gemini Man' First Trailer Drops With

    Will Smith Faces Off Against Himself in Ang Lee's 'Gemini Man' Trailer

    Will Smith battles a familiar antagonist in the official trailer for Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” — himself. Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media dropped dazzling new footage of the futuristic sci-fi drama, scored to a haunting version of “Forever Young,” that sees Smith playing an elite assassin. Things get tricky when he finds out the man [...]

  • Werner Herzog

    Film Constellation Boards Werner Herzog's Japanese Film 'Family Romance' (EXCLUSIVE)

    London-based sales house Film Constellation has boarded Oscar-winning director Werner Herzog’s Japanese-language narrative film “Family Romance,” which will have its world premiere in the special screenings section at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Herzog, the movie was shot last spring and summer in Tokyo and Aomori, Japan, with non-professional actors (Yuichi Ishii, [...]

  • Avengers Endgame Box Office: Can It

    'Avengers: Endgame' Expected to Shatter Box Office Records

    “Avengers: Endgame” has its sights set on world domination. Disney and Marvel’s upcoming superhero epic should light the box office on fire when it launches this weekend, with the hopes of setting domestic, international, and global records. In North America alone, “Avengers: Endgame” is expected to earn between $250 million and $268 million in its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content