One of this summer’s boldest movie experiments is “The Gray Man,” a $200 million Netflix blockbuster starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. Joe and Anthony Russo directed the film, which is both Netflix’s priciest film to date and the company’s most serious attempt at a major blockbuster. While last year’s “Red Notice” had similar aspirations and star power, it lacked the pedigree of “The Gray Man.”
Gosling plays the CIA’s most skilled mercenary who operates under the pseudonym Sierra Six. When he uncovers dark secrets about the agency, he finds himself with a price on his head and a coterie of international assassins targeting him. Gosling is famously selective about his roles, so in a new interview with Empire Magazine, the actor revealed what drew him to the character.
The “La La Land” star explained that he was drawn to the fact that his character is a spy who’s not on any kind of mission. Everyone else in the film targets him; he just wants to avoid them so he can live a normal life.
“His goals aren’t monetary, it’s not about treasure, it’s not revenge,” Gosling said. He just wants to have the right to sit on the couch and watch Netflix like the rest of us.”
He went on to explain that the film’s other major differentiating factor is its ability to blend humor with action.
“In almost every scene, we tried to set it up so that he was at a disadvantage. And it becomes about watching him use whatever is in his environment to gain leverage,” he said. “And what he uses most consistently is a sense of humor. It’s a survival tool. If he can find what’s funny about the absurdity of the situation, he can distance himself from the danger of it.”
Netflix’s massive investment in the film suggests that the streamer hopes “The Gray Man” becomes a franchise. Gosling is on the same page, and the actor is already thinking about sequel ideas.
“I loved making this film,” he said. “I’d love to do it again. I’m hoping we can bump Six up to a name status at some point, just for his own sanity.”
“The Gray Man” will receive a limited theatrical release on July 15, 2022 before streaming on Netflix a week later.