Based on a 2009 novel by author Mark Greaney, the upcoming Netflix film The Gray Man serves as a reunion for actor Chris Evans and the Russo Brothers, the latter of which directed the former in the latter two Captain America films and the two-part Avengers finale that saw Evans' star-spangled character retire from the MCU. They are joined by those films' screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who rewrote the initial draft of The Gray Man that the Russos wrote. Joe Russo retains screenwriter credit alongside Markus and McFeely. Though, back to Evans, the actor in particular sees the film as a way to further distinguish himself from the noble guy that made him famous. Something that the Russos praise today in a joint statement:
"Chris is one of the most technically gifted actors we've ever worked with. Highly trained. This allows him to take great risks as a performer. He's also a brilliant student of human behavior, which makes all of his choices, whether he's playing Captain America or a sociopathic ex-CIA agent, [emotionally] truthful. But we do want to go on record and say, where Ryan Gosling may be The Gray Man, Chris Evans is certainly not a sociopath. Well, as far as we know..."
2019's Knives Out was his most recognized attempt and earned praise, but his next role in The Gray Man looks to completely sever the Marvel image as he plays the antagonist while giving him a more complex role to take on. And now, Evans has released the first image of himself in character which served of the first of many images released today. Check them out below:
The story will focus on a deadly duel between freelance assassin Gentry (Gosling) and his former cohort at the CIA, Lloyd Hansen (Evans). This fight to the death is triggered when Gentry uncovers agency secrets, sparking a global hunt by assassins set loose by Lloyd. Actress Ana de Arma is co-stars in the film as Lloyd's teammate, Agent Dani Miranda.
Gosling's character is being set-up to hopefully star in a series of films at Netflix in what the streaming service hopes to be their own James Bond-style action series although the film feels more in the vein of the Jason Bourne films to me. In either case, the Russos also spoke on his character, the eponymous Gray Man, while giving praise to Gosling:
"The Gray Man is an incredibly mysterious character with a highly secretive past. In essence, he's a ghost. A minimalist, [whose] job is to hide in plain sight. Kill when he needs to kill, and disappear...Ryan is exceptional at communicating volumes through a look or a gesture, creating an interior life that translates in the most subtle and sublime ways. He also has fantastic control of his physicality. In essence, he is The Gray Man (minus the kill orders)."
With the film's release mere months away (set to premiere on Netflix on July 22nd), it'll be interesting to see what all parties bring to the film. Particularly following the Russo Brothers' laxed follow-up to Avengers: Endgame, last year's Cherry over at Apple+ (which starred another MCU actor, Tom Holland). Gosling's presence is particularly hopeful given his string of good choices in scripts. Only time will tell. Stay tuned!