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Charlize Theron Takes On Former Brad Pitt Role In Assassin Thriller ‘The Gray Man’

Charlize Theron Takes On Former Brad Pitt Role In Assassin Thriller ‘The Gray Man’

There’s good and bad news going on in Hollywood. Tinseltown is so far back in the stone ages that the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has to step in and is currently probing the huge inequality gap concerning female directors in film and television. But, the upside is, things are slowly changing. The current shift and trend is the gender swap. You’ve got Marvel characters flipping gender (see Carrie Ann Moss’ role on “Jessica Jones”) and perhaps more prominently Sandra Bullock’s lead role in the upcoming political satire, “Our Brand Is Crisis” which was originally written for a man and developed for George Clooney. Has it fixed things? No. But it’s a start. (The “Star Wars” universe is helping with all the female leads too.)

Another gender swap is in the works over at Sony Pictures. “The Gray Man,” an assassin project that was once pegged for director James Gray and Brad Pitt, is now being tweaked for Charlize Theron, who kicked ass and took names this summer in “Mad Max: Fury Road” (not to mention outshined the would-be lead male character of the movie).

Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors behind “Captain America: The Winter Solider” and two more Marvel movies (‘Civil War’ And ‘Infinity War Part 1 & 2’) wrote the screenplay. They were once attached to direct, but said the aforementioned Marvel movies will keep them busy until 2019.

The thriller originally focused on an expert CIA op-turned-assassin who was forced to evade adversaries as he saves the lives of daughters he didn’t know he had. Obviously with a female protagonist, this longline gets tricky, but presumably they’ll figure out some kind of alternative. Sony also gender-swapped with the Angelina Jolie-starring “Salt,” and is the company behind a female-lead “Ghostbusters,” so clearly some kind of mandate is forming over at that studio which, again, will only help.

Our thoughts? Get James Gray back into the mix. He already successfully directed Charlize in “The Yards” and would have slam-dunked this project in its first incarnation before Brad Pitt got a classic case of cold Brad Pitt feet. We’ll see though. [Deadline]

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