Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) is set to star in the spy thriller The Gray Man, according to The Tracking Board. The film is the latest project from the Russo brothers, Joe and Anthony (Captain America: Civil War).
The film is based on the 2009 novel by Mark Greaney and follows an American operative, Court Gentry – better known as “The Gray Man” – who must save his daughters from a team of government assassins. The Russo brothers adapted the script and have reportedly been working on the project since 2010. With other espionage projects like Bridge of Spies and with Matt Damon returning to the Bourne franchise on top of the directing duo’s success, it looks as though Hollywood is ready to make the project a reality.
Deadline is reporting that Theron will play the lead role that was once being built for Brad Pitt (War Machine) by Sony (his production banner Plan B will still be co-financiers). Theron’s successful experience as an action heroine in this past summer’s Mad Max: Fury Road as well as the acclaim obtained from other actresses like Scarlett Johansson in Lucy have likely played a role in making it possible for recent action films to be built around female actors. Famously, Tom Cruise was originally meant to take the lead in Salt before it was rewritten for Angelina Jolie. Theron will star next in the Snow White sequel, The Huntsman, as well as the drama The Last Face.
Reports say that The Gray Man has become a priority for Sony, making the remaining casting and production likely to move forward quickly. We’ll have more on the project as that news breaks.