Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans to star in Netflix film The Gray Man

The Russo brothers, who are directing the film, have plans to "build out a whole universe" through multiple instalments.

Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling

La La Land’s Ryan Gosling and Captain America’s Chris Evans are reportedly set to join forces for Netflix original film The Gray Man.

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According to Deadline, the adaptation of Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel will be the streamer’s most financially ambitious feature film to date, with a budget of over $200 million (£159.1 million) set aside for the project.

Gosling will reportedly play freelance assassin and former CIA operative Court Gentry, who is hunted across the globe by his old intelligence colleague, Lloyd Hansen (Evans). Brad Pitt and Ad Astra director James Gray were reportedly attached to the title a few years back but the project stalled.

Avengers: Endgame‘s Joe and Anthony Russo are set to direct and produce the film through their production company AGBO, with Netflix reportedly aiming to develop The Gray Man into a multi-film franchise.

“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,” Anthony Russo told Deadline.

“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, who penned The Gray Man’s script, added that the brothers intend for the film to compete with any theatrical release, adding that creating the project with Gosling and Evans is “a dream” for the directing duo.

“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,” he said.

“We have a great working relationship with Netflix, and we go back almost 20 years with (Netflix’s Head of Original Films) 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.”

The Russo brothers recently produced Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth, for Netflix, with the action flick becoming the streamer’s most watched original film in history, according to Bloomberg.

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The Gray Man will be the Russo brothers’ first time working with Gosling, while the pair have directed Evans in four Marvel movies, including Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. They are currently at the helm of Disney’s live-action remake of Hercules, which is in its early stages of development.

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