It’s only been a few days since Netflix launched its most expensive film to date with the streaming of “The Gray Man,” but the company has already announced plans to turn it into a major franchise.
Thus, a sequel is in the works with lead actor Ryan Gosling and directors Joe and Anthony Russo returning to the set. However, Netflix has not yet said when the sequel will be released.
A spin-off from Zombieland and Deadpool screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese is also in development. Netflix says the film will highlight a different aspect of The Gray Man universe, but is silent on the details for now.
The Gray Man to be continued
While critics have generally responded well to The Gray Man, the film seems to be doing well with audiences as well. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 91 percent rating. When it debuted last Friday, the film was number one on Netflix in 92 countries. As of Sunday, viewers have watched a total of 88.55 million hours of the film, according to Netflix.
Whether that apparent success will help Netflix retain subscribers and gain new ones remains to be seen. The company lost nearly a million subscribers last quarter, though the churn was not as bad as Netflix had feared.
Netflix spent $200 million to produce The Gray Man. So it’s not a huge shock that Netflix is turning it into a franchise. In addition, other Netflix blockbuster projects are in the works, including sequels to Extraction and Army of the Dead. Netflix has also commissioned a sequel to the crime film Knives Out.
In case it’s not clear yet: Netflix is keen on building on beloved franchises. “We want to have our version of Star Wars or our version of Harry Potter, and we are working very hard to build that,” Matthew Thunell, the company’s vice president of original series, told Reuters last week.
Netflix already has several successful franchises. A spin-off series to Stranger Things and a drama are in development. The company has produced a Korean version of La Casa de Papel and is working on a spinoff. It is also expanding Squid Game, Bridgerton and The Witcher.