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With a star-studded cast, Netflix's $220M gamble arrives
For years, Netflix enjoyed meteoric growth and a largely competition-free playing field. No more. Following intensified competition from the likes of Prime Video, Disney+ and others, the once-unsinkable streamer recently announced it had lost 200,000 subscribers, and was on track to shed two million more. The value of Netflix stock went into freefall, with the company announcing 150 layoffs—and let’s not forget its massive debt, which stood at $14.5 billion earlier this year.
In a particularly unfortunate bit of timing, this week brings the arrival of Netflix’s most expensive project ever: The Gray Man, a star-studded action flick sporting a reported budget of $220 million.
NetflixDirected by siblings Anthony and Joe Russo (who helmed the last two Avengers movies), the spy thriller boasts an A-list cast including Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfre Woodard and Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page.
Gosling plays Gentry, a shadowy CIA agent who uncovers damning agency secrets that make him the target of a sociopathic rogue operative (Evans) who puts a bounty on his head, placing him in the crosshairs of some of the world’s deadliest professional assassins.
“The movie is a real mano a mano between those two great actors who represent two different versions of the CIA, in what it can be, and what it can do,” Anthony Russo told Deadline of the film, which is intended to be the first of many.
“The idea is to create a franchise and build out a whole universe, with Ryan at the centre of it. We have all committed to the first movie, and that’s got to be great to get us to the second movie,” added Joe Russo. “We think Netflix is the perfect place for this film.”
Whether this big-budget blockbuster lives up to the hype will remain to be seen.
The Gray Man premieres Friday, July 22nd on Netflix