A 2022 American action thriller film based on Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel, The Gray Man, is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay co-written by the latter with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
As well to the aforementioned actors and actresses, the film also stars Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Julia Butters, Regé-Jean Page, and Billy Bob Thornton.
As the first installment in a planned film series based on John Greaney’s Gray Man novels, this one was made by AGBO, the company founded by the Russo brothers.
The story revolves around CIA agent Court Gentry, who is forced to flee from sadistic mercenary Lloyd Hanson after learning the truth about his corrupt boss.
As early as 2011, there were rumors of a film adaptation of Greaney’s novel in the works, with James Gray attached to direct Brad Pitt and later Charlize Theron in a gender-flipped role.
Until July 2020, when it was announced that the Russo brothers would direct the film, with both Gosling and Evans attached to star, the property remained in development hell.
Filming began in March 2021 in Los Angeles and will wrap up in July 2021 in Prague. It is one of Netflix’s most expensive productions, with a budget of $200 million.
President Donald Fitzroy visits a prison inmate in 2003 who was convicted in 1995 of killing his abusive father as a minor in order to protect his younger brother. CIA assassin Fitzroy offers the man his freedom in exchange for his participation in the Sierra program.
CIA agent Dani Miranda and “Sierra Six” are sent on a Bangkok assassination mission in 2021 to kill a target who is suspected of selling national security secrets. His stealthy approach fails, and he is forced to engage the target directly, inflicting fatal injuries on him.
To Six’s dismay, the target confesses that he worked as “Sierra Four” in the program and gives him an encrypted drive containing information about CIA official Denny Carmichael’s corruption.
Despite Carmichael’s evasiveness when confronted by Six, he refuses to evacuate Six and his comrades from Bangkok with Carmichael’s men.
A now-retired Fitzroy is called upon to retrieve the drive, which Six sends to her former Sierra Program handler Margaret Cahill in Prague.
After being fired from the CIA for his sociopathic tendencies, mercenary Lloyd Hansen is hired to find Six and retrieve the hard drive.
Claire, Fitzroy’s niece, is kidnapped by Hansen to pressure Fitzroy into allowing the extraction team to kill Six. Six, on the other hand, kill them and flees. Brewer, Carmichael’s deputy, is sent to supervise Hansen and keep him in check.
A mansion in Croatia, where Hansen has also set up shop, holds Fitzroy and Claire hostage. A bounty is also placed on Six’s head by Hansen in order to attract the best mercenaries and assassins in the world to go after him.
His contact Laszlo Sosa betrays Six for the bounty when Six travels to Vienna to pick up new documents.
It is only after he escapes that Hansen and his team arrive with their team that Six is rescued but taken hostage by Miranda, who initially plans to bring him in to salvage her career at the CIA following her botched Bangkok mission.
In order to decrypt the drive and learn the full extent of Carmichael’s corruption on behalf of an unknown benefactor working for a shadow government, Six persuades her to drive him to see Cahill.
He sends a number of assassins to the home of Cahill and leads the terminally ill woman to sacrifice herself so that Six and Miranda can escape after a further shootout in Prague. Mercenary “Lone Wolf” steals the drive from the pair and brings it to Hansen in a hospital.
Through Claire’s pacemaker’s wireless signal, six and Miranda are able to locate Claire. Using the distraction provided by Six, Fitzroy and Claire are rescued from the mansion.
Fitzroy sacrifices himself in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Hansen as they flee. However, after becoming disgusted with Hansen’s willingness to commit atrocities against children and his lack of morality, Lone Wolf decides to give Miranda the power anyway.
Claire is kidnapped by Hansen and taken to a hedge maze. Hansen fights Six after letting go of Claire after a standoff. To keep Hansen from being blamed for Carmichael’s actions and to gain leverage over him, Brewer has him shot and killed before Six can kill him.
If Six continues working for the CIA, Brewer promises that Claire will be safe. Six and Miranda are compelled to participate in the cover-up, and no action is taken against Carmichael as a result of their efforts.
Carmichael is threatened by Miranda after the debriefing at the CIA headquarters. He then freed Claire, who had been imprisoned in a secret location.
The Gray Man Ending Explained
Are the Thumb Drive’s Contents Revealed?
While Brewer is holding Six at gunpoint following Hansen’s death, he shoots Six and demands that the thumb drive’s contents remain secret.
A public admission by Brewer and Carmichael that they had knowledge of Hansen’s wrongdoings and were friends with him in high school or college would be disastrous for both their careers and the agency as a whole.
Eventually, Six collapses and is rushed to a recovery facility beneath the CIA’s Langley headquarters in Virginia, where he is kept under close observation. Later, the thumb drive is ruined.
It’s been two weeks since the devastation in Prague, and an investigation committee has cleared Brewer and Carmichael of any wrongdoing, placing the blame squarely on Hansen.
Carmichael’s former henchwoman, Brewer, now threatens to leak their secrets if Claire is harmed, a threat she previously made in exchange for her cooperation.
To keep their secrets safe, the two decide to keep Six under heavy guard at the recovery center, but when they arrive there, Six has vanished and all of the security guards who had been keeping an eye on him have been rendered unconscious.
What Is Six?
Claire is seen in the final scene of the film holed up in a CIA safe house, where she is also heavily guarded.
Inside, she discovers a record player and the accompanying record, both of which ask her to play them loudly.
It is only when the song begins, which is Mark Lindsay’s “Silver Bird,” that Claire hears a car driving up to her house, as well as watches as the guards outside, begin to fall one by one.
Bewildered, she covers her ears and shuts her eyes as the stranger continues to struggle against her defenses.
It is Six, who had escaped from Langley, who finally makes his way into her room. Claire leaps into his arms as they leave the safe house together and head into the unknown future.