Ambitious Netflix spy thriller “The Gray Man,” starring Ryan Gosling, is headed for Prague, where the streamer’s reportedly most expensive production will make use of the city’s notable shadowy corners and veteran crews.
Prague-based Stillking will act as local partner, the company has confirmed, with the production making use of the Czech Republic’s 20% cash back incentives system. With shooting on the scale of a Bond movie, “The Gray Man” builds on Stillking’s reputation for large-scale drama, including its prior work on “Casino Royale” and other Hollywood movies.
The project, the story of a rogue CIA assassin on the run, is likely headed to other as yet unnamed international locales, directors Anthony and Joe Russo have said, with a cast featuring Chris Evans and Jessica Henwick, Wagner Moura, Dhanush, Julia Butters, Billy Bob Thornton and Alfre Woodard.
With an estimated budget of $200 million, “The Gray Man” will eclipse Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” with its $159 million spend as Netflix’s most expensive original production.
Joe Russo’s script, which follows a CIA agent Lloyd Hansen (Evans) hunting down Gosling’s character, Court Gentry, a former agent turned assassin, is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Mark Greaney. Additional material has been penned by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely of AGBO, the writers of “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity Wars.”
The Russo Brothers formed AGBO as a platform-agnostic storytelling production venture but hope “The Gray Man” will grow as a Netflix franchise, following their success with Netflix’s most popular original movie ever, “Extraction.”
“The Gray Man” shoot, currently filming in Los Angeles, is expected to head East after it wraps there in late April. The story’s success as a bestselling book series is hoped to drive an adaptation into an ongoing franchise with Gosling appearing in multiple installments.
The Russos recently completed directing “Cherry,” an indie drama based on the true story of a PTSD-suffering Afghanistan war vet (Tom Holland) who self-medicates while robbing banks in Cleveland.
Anthony Russo has described “The Gray Man” as “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.”
Netflix has yet to confirm a release date for the movie, but streaming is not expected before the end of the year.