We recently learned that two of Netflix’s most popular original movies ever are Michael Bay’s 6 Underground and Best Picture nominee The Irishman. It’s a good thing they were hits, as the streaming service reportedly spent $150 million and $160 million, respectively, on the two films. (The list was topped by Extraction. $65 million well spent.)
Making Robert De Niro look 30 year again didn’t come cheap, but The Irishman, nor 6 Underground, is the Netflix project with the highest budget: that expensive distinction currently belongs to the Gal Gadot- and The Rock-starring Red Notice, although according to Deadline, the only movie that matters now has some pricey competition.
The Gray Man, starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling and directed by Avengers: Endgame helmers Joe and Anthony Russo, is the hopeful beginning of a “new franchise with a James Bond-level of scale and a budget upwards of $200 million”:
The action thriller is a deadly duel between killers as Gentry (Gosling) is hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Evans), a former cohort of Gentry’s at the CIA. The Gray Man turned into a bestselling book series, and the expectation is that Gosling will continue in multiple installments. The project was developed years back at New Regency as a Brad Pitt/James Gray vehicle, but it stalled. The Russos have quietly been developing it for years.
Anthony compared the film to Captain America: Winter Soldier, as it takes place in a “real world setting,” while Joe added, “The idea is to create a franchise and build out a whole universe, with Ryan at the center of it… These are master assassins and Gosling’s character gets burned by the CIA and Evans’ character has to hunt him down.” It’s a good thing he added “character” after their names, although I would like to see Real-Life Ryan Gosling being “hunted across the globe” by Real-Life Chris Evans.
The bidding for the rights to The Fugitive-meets-The Amazing Race begins at $250 million. I’m hoping for Hulu or HBO Max, but will resign myself to Quibi, as have we all.