Was it worth it to watch The Gray Man, Netflix’s most expensive film ever?

The Gray Man, which cost more than $500,000 to produce, is now available on Netflix. The adaptation of Mark Greaney’s book of the same name, which Anthony and Joe Russo directed, had a protracted and difficult journey to its eventual publication. It was first revealed that The Gray Man will be directed by the appropriately called James Gray from Ad Astra back in 2011 at New Regency. The Russo brothers were set to take over nearly ten years later, in July 2020, but the movie remained in development hell until that announcement. The Gray Man’s initial release from New Regency and Sony Pictures would eventually be taken over by Netflix.

Ryan Gosling’s character Court Gentry/Sierra Six, a CIA agent, is the focus of The Gray Man. During a failed assassination attempt in Bangkok, Court Gentry/Sierra Six learns the agency’s most sinister secrets. A group of the world’s deadliest killers, led by private firm Lloyd Hansen, then pursues him over the whole planet (Chris Evans). Six needs to defeat Hansen with the help of fellow CIA operative Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) in order to escape his pursuers and save his newly discovered family, which includes handler Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton) and Fitzroy’s niece Claire (Julia Butters).

Ryan Gosling in The Gray Man

It is understandable why The Gray Man and 2021’s Red Notice both tie for the title of most costly Netflix original film. Both films include intense action scenes shot on location and an amazing ensemble cast. According to reports, both movies cost the streaming service $200 million to make, which is comparable to some of the most expensive action blockbusters ever produced, like Spider-Man: No Way Home. It is debatable if The Gray Man was worthwhile given the high production costs and unfavorable reviews from reviewers.

Why The Gray Man’s Production Was So Expensive?

The first factor contributing to The Gray Man’s high production costs was the sizeable ensemble cast that was put together for the picture. Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, the two principal performers in The Gray Man, reportedly earned $20 million apiece. Movie stars are expensive to recruit. The filmmakers didn’t skimp when it came to assembling The Gray Man’s strong supporting ensemble, with cameos from Regé-Jean Page from Bridgerton, Jessica Henwick from The Matrix Resurrections, and Dhanush. The Gray Man’s star power undoubtedly helped in its production and promotion, but their combined wages put a serious dent in the movie’s budget.

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