After launching The Gray Man, its most expensive and ambitious feature film yet, Netflix and The Russo Brothers are coming back for more, with Ryan Gosling back as the elusive Sierra Six in a sequel coming soon.
Frequent collaborators with Netflix, Joe and Anthony Russo, will return to direct the movie. Stephen McFeeley, who co-wrote the first movie from the Mark Greaney novel with his Avengers scripting partner Christopher Markus, is back and penning the script.
The Gray Man 2 has officially been confirmed by Netflix after the first movie debuted top of the most-watched lists in 92 countries.
Following its debut, the movie went on to become the fifth most-watched movie in Netflix’s history in terms of hours watched while the first film took a $200M budget to produce, making it the most expensive and ambitious Netflix features yet although a Netflix budget is not necessarily comparable to the budget from the likes of Disney. It notably also saw a limited theatrical release a week before it debuted on Netflix.
What is Gray Man based on?
Despite plenty of changes from the source material, The Gray Man adapts Mark Greaney’s 2009 spy thriller of the same name.
Netflix’s sequel to the movie could adapt the second book in the long-running book series with as many as ten installments as of 2022 and another one set for a release in 2023.
Here’s the synopsis for the second book titled On Target.
Court Gentry, (Gosling) aka the Gray Man, is back – and once again on the run from old friends and foes. Four years ago, Gentry was betrayed by his handlers in the CIA. Now, an old comrade, Russian arms merchant Sidorenko, returns to force him on a mission against his will: kill Sudan’s President Abboud, the supposed trigger for the Darfur genocide. But the CIA has its own plans for Abboud. With his ruthless employers on one side, his blackmailing former friends on the other, and a doomed mission ahead, Gentry would kill just to get out of this one alive.
Naturally, the first movie departed from the source material, and the second won’t be an exception, but we know at least the general direction of the story.
The Russos commented:
“The sequel will be inspired by the Mark Greaney novel. Translating from one medium to another often requires interpretation, but we have an incredible amount of source material from an amazing offer. We’ll draw on that for the sequel.”
The Cast: Who could come back?
Ryan Gosling has been confirmed to return as the titular Gray Man, but that’s it for the confirmed cast for the sequel for now. We imagine he’ll be joined by Ana de Armas as his CIA ally Dani Miranda, who, following the events of the first movie, will be out to take down Group Chief Denny Carmichael and his deputy Suzanne Brewer, played by Regé-Jean Page and Jessica Henwick respectively.
Julia Butters will likely also return as Claire Fitzroy after she was rescued from the CIA by Gentry in the final sequence of the movie. However, we won’t see Billy Bob Thornton as Gentry’s handler Donald Fitzroy as he sacrificed himself to save his niece Claire.
Other casualties of the first movie included Chris Evans’s Lloyd Hansen and Alfre Woodard’s former bureau chief Margaret Cahill. Barring flashbacks, we’re not expecting any surprise resurrections for them to appear in future movies.
We’d hope to see Dhanush back as mercenary Avik San who was working for Hansen to track down Gentry. He saw what a wrong’un Hansen was in the movie’s finale though and he spared Dani’s life before going off to places unknown.
Perhaps either Avik San and Dani Miranda could be the focus of the confirmed spin-off movie, rather than being in the sequel as supporting characters. We’re just speculating there though, so don’t quote us on that.
How does The Gray Man set up a sequel?
There are numerous mysteries that The Gray Man 2 could pick up and explore, such as who is the mysterious higher-up protecting Carmichael and who the “old man” is that Carmichael is so worried about.
In terms of direct follow-ups though, there’s no cliffhanger to follow up on. Six has escaped from the CIA and rescued Claire, and you’d imagine that he’d be pretty happy staying out of trouble so it’d take somebody hunting him down to bring him back in the fold.
Carmichael might not have Six under his control anymore, but he did manage to recover the evidence that could have exposed all his dodgy dealings. It depends on how much of a grudge he has whether he goes after Six again.
It’s more likely that he’ll face trouble from within the CIA though as Dani might have gone along with the cover-up, but could work to expose Carmichael and Brewer now that she knows the truth.
The Gray Man 2 release date
The Gray Man 2 might have been officially confirmed by Netflix, but it doesn’t yet have a release date.
There are usually two or three years between movies when it comes to other Netflix sequels, so we might have to wait until 2024 for the return of Sierra Six. Until we know when it films, it’s hard to say though.