Joe and Anthony Russo’s tenure as Marvel directors began with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Much loved by fans and critics alike, the film was a hit – and the Russos followed it up with Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Now, the directors are helming a spy thriller for Netflix titled The Gray Man, and it looks like the film could launch another cinematic universe – as well as bear some resemblance to the first Captain America sequel.
“Gray Man is a spy film. For fans of The Winter Soldier, The Gray Man is similar in a sense that we’re trying to embed it in a very modern, current environment that we’re facing on a global level in terms of spy networks and [the] CIA," Anthony said in a CCXP panel, reported by Collider (opens in new tab). He added: "It'll be fun to see Chris [Evans] in the opposite role of Captain America."
The film follows an ex-CIA operative, played by Ryan Gosling. The character, called Court Gentry, has become an assassin, and is also known as the Gray Man. He's being chased down by a former CIA co-worker, Lloyd Hansen – portrayed by the once-Captain America himself, Chris Evans.
In terms of kickstarting a cinematic universe, Joe said: “What we’re doing on Gray Man that’s different [is]… we’re not gonna answer every question in the first movie.” He went on to say that, "This is being conceived as a series of films, and again, potentially branching out, we could follow other characters, but we’re not gonna answer every question in the movie.”
He added: “So you’re gonna finish the movie, [and] have a complete story, but you’re still gonna have questions about the wider universe. And I think that’s one way to break the model a little bit, is to not give the audience everything in one film. Don’t have a close-ended narrative. Have an open-ended narrative that’s [like] a chapter in a book.”
Joe also included the caveat that the brothers might not be able to direct every potential sequel. “It could be other filmmakers," he said. "I mean we love it, we love what we’ve been prepping, we love the cast, but we’d love to tell multiple stories and schedule-dependent, we might not be able to handle everything. So we love to bring new voices in and we also get excited about that."
The Gray Man doesn’t currently have a release date, but it's set to start filming in January 2021. In the meantime, check out our roundup of 2020 and 2021’s movie release dates.