With James Gray pretty much finished with “The Immigrant,” packing his bags and getting ready to head to France for its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, he’s beginning to look at what might be next on his slate. When we spoke to the helmer last year, his brewing thriller “The Gray Man” was something he said could very well be his next picture. “It really depends on Brad Pitt‘s schedule and it depends on my schedule and how quickly I finish up this current movie and budget and all of those kind of boring factors. But it definitely may happen, and in fact it is more likely than not to happen,” he said. Now, it seems that while the movie may move forward, it will need a new lead.
Jeff Sneider of The Wrap tweeted last night: “BRAD PITT no longer attached to star in THE GRAY MAN for New Regency. Director James Gray seeking new leading man…” As folks may know, the pair were originally slated to work together on “The Lost City Of Z” before it fell apart, and while this is certainly a bummer — we think Gray and Pitt would be a great duo — the material is still pretty fascinating stuff. Based on the book by Mark Greaney, and penned by Adam Cozad (“Jack Ryan“) the film follows a former CIA operative-turned ultimate assassin, targeted by a powerful multinational corporation, who must fight his way across Europe and past special forces teams from around the world in order to save the life of his handler and the handler’s family.
So, Bourne-esque? Maybe, but Gray has an approach that he hopes will change up the game. He wants to shoot the film from the perspective of the assassin, a style he utilized in the car chase sequence in “We Own The Night.” As he explained in 2011: “Almost every shot was from Joaquin’s point of view, inside that car, and I want to make a whole movie with that POV.”
Hopefully, Pitt’s departure doesn’t stall out “The Gray Man” for too long, and we presume Gray’s longtime collaborator Joaquin Phoenix isn’t quite the right fit for this movie (though, we’d sorta love to the actor do a straight up action flick). So, hopefully, this one finds a new actor to take it on and help get it rolling soon. [via CinemaTeaser]