Directors Of Captain America: The Winter Soldier To Adapt Novel The Gray Man Posted by Joseph Lee on 05.29.2014
Variety reports that Sony Pictures has acquired the rights to Mark Greaney's novel The Gray Man. Joe Roth and Palak Patel will produce while Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) will write and direct. The book is the first in a four-book series. Sony has optioned the entire series (including Dead Eye, Ballistic and On Target) for a possible franchise.
Roth said: "We think this could be the next ‘Bourne Identity' movie series. The Russo brothers are the most dynamic filmmakers working today."
The book follows a CIA operative who becomes an assassin, avoiding "mysterious forces" as he tries to save the lives of daughters who don't know he exists.
The Russos said that they are influenced by 1970s filmmaking but want to make this film stand alone as it own with no comparisons to other movies.
Joe Russo said: "We found the material to be very compelling and ultra realistic and has a great character at the heart of it. We are most interested in stories that are entrenched in the most modern elements that go on today and we think this book does an amazing job at explaining that."
New Regency previously had the rights for the book and were trying to develop it for years. At one point, James Gray was set to direct with Brad Pitt starring. The option lapsed and Roth and Patel eventually came on board. Patel then sought the Russos, who loved the story. After Greaney gave his approval, Sony production president Michael De Luca bought the rights for seven figures.
De Luca said: "Columbia Pictures is extremely grateful to Palak Patel, Joe Roth and the Russo brothers for trusting us with Mark Greany's incredible novel. Palak has the best taste in the business and Joe's track record combined with the Russo brothers blistering filmmaking will make ‘The Gray Man' a phenomenal motion picture!"
The Russos' last film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, has earned over $700 million worldwide. They are currently working on the story for the next Captain America movie, which will be the next movie they direct. It is set to be released on May 6, 2016.
Roth says that as soon as the Russos can start on The Gray Man, they'll look for a male lead.