Netflix Shouldn’t Rush a Gray Man Franchise (Despite Sequel Setup)

Netflix announced plans to build a universe around The Gray Man by the Russo Brothers, but the streamer should take it slow.

Netflix is ​​working on a sequel and spinoff for The gray man, but the streamer shouldn’t rush to build a franchise around the film just yet. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, The gray man Stars Ryan Gosling as Sierra Six, a ghost agent who is part of a covert CIA program recruiting inmates for dangerous jobs. After a mission in which he uncovers dark secrets about his superiors, a reluctant agent must face Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a ruthless assassin hired by Carmichael (Regé-Jean Page), a corrupt CIA officer and kidnapped the former boss of Six (Billy Bob Thornton) and his niece Claire (Julia Butters). Along the way he is assisted by another CIA agent, Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas), who unknowingly becomes implicated in the conspiracy.

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The gray man is Netflix’s most expensive film and is said to have been a success for the streamer. Shortly after its release, it was announced that the film would expand into a shared universe, beginning with a sequel starring Gosling and a spin-off written by Dead Pool Authors Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The gray manThe ending of has set the stage for an intriguing sequel in which Six rescues Claire from a corrupt CIA officer and seemingly takes her under his wing. In terms of Netflix’s shared universe plan, the film is based on The gray man book series by Mark Greaney, so the hopeful franchise has plenty of material to draw from. However, the streamer is not yet able to gamble away hundreds of millions of dollars on an IP.


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Netflix has been losing subscribers while spending billions of dollars to keep up a steady stream of content. The strategy initially positioned the company as something of an industry disruptor, but now it puts it in a precarious position. Overall, consumers appear to be connecting more to services like Disney+, HBO Max, and Prime Video because of the established intellectual property available to them. That’s something Netflix is ​​lacking, and the company has been trying to change it by investing in various types of projects, including The gray man. Netflix now reckons the film will be a new IP source, but that may not be ideal for the streamer.


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The staying power of streaming releases is inherently different from that of cinema; Availability at no extra cost arguably affects the longevity of their popularity. The gray man enjoyed large viewership upon release, but given the somewhat fleeting glimpse of streaming originals, Netflix may be overestimating the film’s long-term popularity. Even with its 91% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s currently no viable way to accurately assess whether or not the film had enough impact on the pop culture zeitgeist to warrant a sequel, let alone a shared universe.


Additionally, its popularity may not stem from the ownership itself, but rather from the star power that comes with it, which also calls into question the reliability of crafting a franchise around its mythology. Considering these two possible scenarios, a safer strategy for Netflix would be development The gray man Consequence ahead of all other projects, and leverage critical performance and Netflix viewership data to accurately gauge audience interest in the property. Such an assessment would then allow the streamer to decide whether it is warranted to proceed with further sequels and spinoffs.

The gray man is suitable for a sequel. The ending paved the way for a compelling story for Six and Claire that could reflect the touching father-little-daughter dynamic explored in films like Leon the pro and gifted and TV shows like the recent one Obi Wan Kenobi. The film also established various concepts capable of supporting multiple projects such as the Sierra program, corruption within the CIA, and Carmichael’s mysterious superiors. On paper, The gray man Series has the potential to be successful as a long-term story, but it may not have the audience to pull it off. As a result, Netflix needs to slow down and assess whether or not the property is worth the current financial commitment.


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