Brad Pitt in Talks to Lead James Gray's Adaptation of 'The Gray Man'
Back in November of 2010, the adaptation of The Lost City of Z from director James Gray fell apart after star Brad Pitt left the project because of how little the filmmaker was going to be paid for the project. Then the next day it was said that the actor was considering both adaptations of Cogan's Trade and The Gray Man as potential projects. Since then we haven't heard anything about Pitt being attached to the latter project, but earlier this year we heard that Gray was taking on the project as his next directing gig. Now we've come full circle as Variety reports Pitt is now in talks to officially take the lead role of an assassin.
The story, an adaptation of Mark Greaney's novel of the same name, follows a former CIA operative-turned ultimate assassin who is forced to fight his way across Europe and past special forces teams from around the world after being targeted by a multi-national corporation and the life of his handler and their family is in danger. Though this sounds like just another action thriller, what makes this unique is how Gray plans to shoot the film, which he detailed in January after getting attached to the project. Gray said:
"What [Paul Greengrass] did was a documentary-style objective approach, and he owns that style. I want to do the opposite, which feels like a good way to sympathize with a professional hitman. You humanize him by never distancing yourself from his experience. This story has emotional stakes that enable me to do that."
And the filmmaker intends to capture that essence by shooting the film with a certain point-of-view style from Pitt's character. Gray elaborated by referencing a scene in We Own the Night in which Joaquin Phoenix watches from the back seat of a car as his police chief father is gunned down by assassins. The director says, "Almost every shot was from Joaquin's point of view, inside that car, and I want to make a whole movie with that POV." Considering the backlash of comments from the last sequence from The Amazing Spider-Man trailer, I'm not sure audiences want or can literally stomach an entire movie like that. But maybe if some key sequences are shot in that way, it could be very effective. Either way, with Pitt attached, the film is bound to get a lot more attention now.