One of the biggest hits for streaming platform Netflix Inc NFLX in 2022 is being turned into a new franchise with plans for a sequel and spinoff. Here’s the details on the big budget spy movie “The Gray Man.”
What Happened: Netflix announced plans to turn “The Gray Man” into a franchise for the streaming platform, as reported by Variety Wednesday.
A sequel and spinoff of the movie are both in the works according to the report. Ryan Gosling, who starred in the original, will return in a sequel with co-writer Stephen McFeely writing the screenplay. Joe and Anthony Russo will return as directors and also produce the movie.
“The audience reaction to ‘The Gray Man’ has been nothing short of phenomenal. We are so appreciative of the enthusiasm that fans across the world have had for this film,” the Russos said. “With so many amazing characters in the movie, we had always intended for ‘The Gray Man’ to be part of an expanded universe, and we are thrilled that Netflix is announcing a sequel with Ryan.”
A spin-off movie is being kept secretive but will feature a screenplay from Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who were the screenwriters of “Deadpool.”
The movie, based on a bestselling book series by Mark Greaney, follows a CIA agent on the run from a mercenary. The cast of “The Gray Man” includes Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, and Rege-Jean Page. The movie had a reported budget of $200 million.
Why It’s Important: Originally known as the home of streaming rights for many shows and movies, Netflix has beefed up its original content over the years. With many hit series on the platform, Netflix has also shelled out big money to create blockbuster movies.
With “The Gray Man,” Netflix could have a hit franchise that can be expanded upon.
Netflix recently reported “The Gray Man” led the week for English-language films with 88.55 million hours viewed. The movie topped “The Sea Beast,” which had 34.14 million views in its third week.
Netflix has had several movies top the 50 million hours viewed mark throughout 2022. Among the standouts are “The Man From Toronto,” with 53.89 million and 62.64 million hours in its first two weeks; “Hustle,” with 84.58 million views in its first week; and “365 Days: This Day,” with 77.98 million hours viewed in week 1.
The total from “The Gray Man” is the most for an English-language film on Netflix since the March release “The Adam Project.” Starring Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner, "The Adam Project" saw 92.43 million and 85.36 million hours, respectively, viewed in its first two weeks on the platform.
The numbers from “The Gray Man” also trail the hit Academy Award-nominated “Don’t Look Up,” which had over 100 million hours viewed in each of its first two weeks on Netflix in December.
Having hit films and franchises on the platform could help boost subscribers and help with churn, a problem seen in the first quarter, with Netflix reporting its first subscriber loss in over 10 years.
Netflix ended the second quarter with 220.67 million subscribers, down from its first-quarter total of 221.64 million. The company previously guided to lose 2 million subscribers in the second quarter, but reported a loss of 970,000 instead. The company is forecasting to add 1 million net subscribers in the third quarter.
An ad-supported plan is set to launch in the early part of 2023 that could lead to “substantial incremental membership and profit growth,” according to the company.
NFLX Price Action: Netflix shares were trading 6.19% higher ahead of the close Wednesday at $227.15 versus a 52-week range of $162.71 to $609.99.
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