It’s only been a few days since Netflix began streaming The Gray Man, its most expensive film to date, but the company has already announced plans to turn it into a major franchise.
So a sequel is in the works with star Ryan Gosling and directors Joe and Anthony Russo returning to the set. However, Netflix hasn’t said when the sequel will arrive.
A spin-off from Zombieland and Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese is also in development. Netflix says the film will explore a different aspect of The Gray Man universe, but is keeping mum on details for now.
The Gray Man will continue
While critics in general have had a good reaction to The Gray Man, the film seems to be a hit with audiences as well. It has an audience score of 91 percent for Rotten Tomatoes. It debuted as the number one movie on Netflix in 92 countries when it was released last Friday. As of Sunday, viewers had collectively watched 88.55 million hours of the movie, Netflix said.
It remains to be seen whether this apparent success translates into helping Netflix retain subscribers and attract new ones. The company lost nearly a million subscribers last quarter, though attrition wasn’t as bad as Netflix feared.
Netflix spent $200 million to make The Gray Man. So it’s no big shock that Netflix is turning it into a franchise. Plus, other Netflix blockbuster projects are in the works, including sequels to Extraction and Army of the Dead. Netflix has also picked up the sequel to the crime movie Knives Out.
In case it’s not clear, Netflix is very keen to build up its beloved franchises. “We want to have our version of Star Wars or our version of Harry Potter and we’re working very hard to build that,” the company’s vice president for original series, Matthew Thunell, told Reuters last week.
Netflix already has several successful franchises. A spin-off series and a Stranger Things drama are in development. The company has made a Korean version of La Casa de Papel and is working on a spin-off. It’s also expanding Squid Game, Bridgerton and The Witcher.