Congratulations are in order to Netflix’s latest cash cow, The Gray Man, which has landed a sequel and a spin-off order at the streamer. The action flick, starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas, debuted to so-so reviews, but whatever viewership numbers Netflix saw were clearly enough to greenlight an entire Gray Man universe.
The Russo Brothers will return to direct with their frequent collaborator Stephen McFeeley (sans writing partner Christopher Markus, with whom he co-wrote the original). Joe Russo tells Deadline the film “will be inspired by the Mark Greaney novel,” of which there are soon to be a dozen. “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,” Russo says.
Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese will pen the spin-off, which will be “a little more edgy and experimental” than the main series. “It means that one will be a hard R. Can’t say more at this point,” Russo teases.
Netflix has been jonesing for its own franchise(s), to mixed results (remember Bright?). The Russos seem like the right partners for such an endeavor, though, as Joe Russo says the directing duo, Markus, and McFeeley “love the universe-building work that we did together” for Marvel and are happy to play in other sandboxes.
“We love massive commercial storytelling, and the longform storytelling ideal of multiple access points to a narrative,” Russo says. “We wanted to continue that, keep working in this unique form that we all have enjoyed so much and that has done so well.” Hey, everybody’s got to have their thing, even if that thing is “exhaustively interconnected blockbusters for mega conglomerates.” May Ryan Gosling be the Gray Man until he’s gray, man.