Exclusive: The Russo Brothers react to similarities between Netflix’s The Gray Man and Marvel Studios’ The New Captain America Movie: The Winter Soldier.
The Gray Man directors Joe and Anthony Russo respond to comparisons to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Following their work on sitcoms such as Arrested Development and Community. The Russo Brothers made their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut with 2014’s The Winter Soldier.
The film picks up with Steve Rogers when he realizes SHIELD may not be what it appears to be on his second solo outing as Captain America.
Bucky Barnes reprises his role as the film’s brainwashed super-assassin, assisting Hydra’s weaponized worldwide surveillance takeover as Cap becomes an enemy of the state.
Following the success of their debut action movie, the Russo Brothers went on to direct some of Marvel Studios’ most important films, including Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
The Russo Brothers have reunited with Chris Evans in The Gray Man, three years after Endgame became the highest-grossing picture of all time. Based on Mark Greaney’s 2002 novel of the same name.
The film follows CIA agent Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling) as he learns agency secrets and becomes the subject of a global search coordinated by his former colleague, Lloyd Hansen (Evans).
Its cast also includes Ana de Armas, Alfre Woodard, Billy Bob Thorton, and Regé-Jean Page, in addition to Evans and Gosling.
The Russo Brothers addressed their latest film, The Gray Man, in an exclusive conversation with Screen Rant. When questioned about the parallels in the narrative, thematic, and tonal elements between The Winter Soldier and The Gray Man.
Joe described the films as “companion works in a lot of respects.” Read the entire quote below:
“They’re companion pieces in a lot of ways. They’re action-thrillers that deal with very current thematics [like] espionage and deal with characters with very emotionally complex situations. And they’re both globe-trotting.”
The New Captain America Movie
The parallels between The Winter Soldier and the Russos’ newest thriller are obvious. In addition to Evans, The Gray Man follows a man who is forced to flee after discovering that the good men aren’t really the good ones (so to speak).
This time, Evans plays the antagonist rather than the hero, as had been anticipated since The Winter Soldier.
While filming their first MCU film, the Russos penned the first draft of The Gray Man in between takes, expecting it would be their next project.
However, the directors subsequently negotiated a three-film deal with Marvel Studios, forcing The Gray Man to be shelved.
All of the Russo Brothers’ projects will almost certainly be compared to their work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially because they continue to cast superhero performers.
Extraction (on which they were producers/writers) starred Thor’s Chris Hemsworth in 2020, and Cherry (in 2021) starred Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Tom Holland. While both films fared well, they did not receive the critical praise of The Winter Soldier, which some belief to be the MCU’s greatest.
If The Gray Man can channel that power, although, in a new way, it might cement the Russos’ future outside of the superhero genre. If it can’t, the Endgame directors have hinted at a comeback of the MCU.