Netflix has just given us a few crumbs of The Gray Man, its Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans-led action film, which is out this year. And while it always had a big spot on our list of the biggest Netflix titles of 2022 (and a shot on our list of the best Netflix movies), we’d be lying if we said this little teaser of the blockbuster to come this doesn’t leave us wanting more.
The Gray Man, in case you’ve forgotten, looks set to be Netflix’s next big game to have its own blockbuster franchise. And if Captain America’s Chris Evans co-star in the film wasn’t reason enough to convince you Netflix has a shot? Well we have two more big details to explain why this movie is going to be so big.
But first, jump to about 12 seconds into this super cut of the 2022 Netflix movie lineup, where we got our first look at Gosling’s version of Court Gentry. Just the mood of this injured and exhausted freelance assassin leaning out of a moving train makes us think “he needs a day off”. Then, at 45 seconds, we get a lot more action when Gosling is involved in a melee on a move.
Afterwards, Gosling gets on the phone with an almost unrecognizable Chris Evans and says, “I already don’t like you.” But we already like this film.
As Deadline reports, Netflix is investing a budget of up to $200 million in The Gray Man. As this bill suggests, the goal is to build Netflix’s own super-franchise.
Amazon now owns James Bond (although Netflix does feature Daniel Craig in the first look of Knives Out 2 in the same video); Disney has all the upcoming Marvel movies and shows it can throw at us (what’s next, The Happy Hogan Show?); and HBO Max has DC movies and will eventually get The Batman.
Heck, Paramount Plus will include Mission: Impossible 7 and 8, as well as Jurassic World: Dominion and a Halo TV show.
Meanwhile, the Netflix kids from Stranger Things aren’t getting any younger. So it makes sense that Netflix would join the blockbuster movies arms race.
The other reason The Gray Man should be huge? It comes from The Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony. You know, the money-printing duo behind movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and the two-part Avengers movies Infinity War and Endgame.
What happens in The Gray Man? Formerly working for the CIA, Gentry (Gosling) is now a freelance assassin who finds himself in the crosshairs of his old CIA colleague Lloyd Hansen (Evans).
Other big Netflix 2022 films include The Adam Project (a family-friendly adventure that reunites Ryan Reynolds alongside Zoe Saldaña, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner) and Day Shift, which gives Jamie Foxx an extremely unlikely pair of jobs: pool cleaning and vampire hunting.
Ruffalo and Evans aren’t the only current/former Avengers on the Netflix calendar. 2022 also brings Thor back to Netflix. No, Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction 2 does not have a date yet. Instead, Hemsworth is starring in a tech thriller called Spiderhead.
Will all of this be enough to keep people on the big red streaming machine accounts while Netflix price hikes crowd them out? Or will people temporarily cancel their Netflix and return once the release dates for these films come out? Only time can tell.