Netflix is planning to create an entire universe around The Gray Man, but what can we expect from The Gray Man 2, its release date, and Netflix’s wider plans for its IP?
When you spend $200 million on a film, there are certain expectations. The first is that it needs to be good. The second is that it should probably lead into a sequel. Third, in Netflix’s case, it needs to get lots and lots of eyeballs watching it and generate plenty of streams and new subscribers.
This necessitates the need for a star, someone with pulling power, someone like Ryan Gosling. Keen to improve your ROI? Add in Captain America for good measure and one of the brightest new actresses working today, Ana De Armas, and you have a near-perfect formula for a hit.
And, finally, get one of the hottest directing duos to oversee the film, meaning The Russo Brothers – the men behind Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame. As credentials go, The Gray Man has it all: a huge budget, big stars, hot-shot directors, plenty of action, and decent-to-middling reviews thus far.
The Gray Man 2 Release Date
This post DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY SPOILERS. Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at what’s happening with The Gray Man 2…
Initially, it seemed like The Gray Man was just another big-budget action IP from Netflix. But, no; Netflix has big plans for this film – a plan that involves sequels and spin-offs.
Speaking to Digital Spy, The Gray Man director Anthony Russo confirmed plans for a wider universe based around the events of the film.
We definitely conceived of a larger narrative universe that [The Gray Man] is our introduction to. Part of what we like about storytelling is we like the elaborate, long narratives, and we did try to build something out that could be explored further.
Part of our effort to do that was also just the size of the ensemble. We have a lot of characters in the movie played by many wonderful actors, and our hope would be that the audiences would be interested in following any number of them.Anthony Russo
Following this statement, news sources have claimed that work on a direct sequel to The Gray Man has been greenlit and work is also underway on a spin-off film/TV show too.
Netflix clearly isn’t perturbed by some of The Gray Man’s lukewarm reviews. And one could argue it shouldn’t; The Gray Man was the #1 film in 92 countries during its first week.
In Netflix’s world, that kind of thing matters a whole lot more than getting plaudits from critics. Indeed, 97% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes don’t pay the bills.
What matters is engaged subscribers and The Gray Man delivered in this regard by the bucket-load.
If all goes smoothly, we could see The Gray Man 2 released in 2024/25 on Netflix. That assumes that the script is completed this year, followed by an efficient shoot, and then a quick turnaround with editing.
Usually, 24 months is the absolute minimum between wrapping one film and getting its sequel out the door – unless both are shot back to back.
What About The Gray Man “Spin-Off” Film
Less is known about Netflix’s plans for the spin-off movie that’s set in The Gray Man cinematic universe, save for the fact that Deadpool and Zombie Land’s Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are now actively working on the script.
As for when either of these new films will be released, no one knows for sure. Ryan Gosling is attached to the sequel, as are the Russo Brothers who, incidentally, will not be returning to helm the new Avengers films scheduled for release in 2024.
As it stands, it looks as if Netflix is trying to create its very own Spy franchise. The Gray Man has elements of Bourne, elements of Bond, and enough of its own uniqueness to potentially be quite an interesting world.
And given the popularity of the first film, I can see why Netflix is keen on attempting to build a cinematic universe around the concept.
I mean, if it works for Marvel…
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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