Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Cannes: First Posters For Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster' With Colin Farrell And Rachel Weisz Cannes: First Posters For Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster' With Colin Farrell And Rachel Weisz 2018 'Star Wars' Spinoff Will Tell Boba Fett's Origin Story 2018 'Star Wars' Spinoff Will Tell Boba Fett's Origin Story Joss Whedon Shot An Alternate ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Ending Where [Redacted] Doesn’t Die & Much More Joss Whedon Shot An Alternate ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Ending Where [Redacted] Doesn’t Die & Much More HBO Orders David Fincher's 1980s Set Music Video Comedy ' Video Synchronicity' To Series HBO Orders David Fincher's 1980s Set Music Video Comedy ' Video Synchronicity' To Series Box Office: ‘Age Of Ultron’ Scores The 2nd Highest All-Time Debut, But Can’t Surpass The 1st ‘Avengers’ Opening Box Office: ‘Age Of Ultron’ Scores The 2nd Highest All-Time Debut, But Can’t Surpass The 1st ‘Avengers’ Opening Hot Docs Review: Alex Winter's Silk Road Documentary 'Deep Web' Hot Docs Review: Alex Winter's Silk Road Documentary 'Deep Web' Watch: Tom Hardy Faces Off Against Charlize Theron In The First 6 Clips From ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Watch: Tom Hardy Faces Off Against Charlize Theron In The First 6 Clips From ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ '80s Set 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Will Reference A 'Star Wars' Movie '80s Set 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Will Reference A 'Star Wars' Movie Watch: Powerful Trailer For Netflix Documentary 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Watch: Powerful Trailer For Netflix Documentary 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' 8 Westerns Not Set In The Old West 8 Westerns Not Set In The Old West 'True Detective' Helmer Cary Fukunaga Will Direct An Untitled Father Son Drama, 'Brokeback Mountain' Writers To Pen Script 'True Detective' Helmer Cary Fukunaga Will Direct An Untitled Father Son Drama, 'Brokeback Mountain' Writers To Pen Script Kristen Stewart Says "Hollywood Is Disgustingly Sexist," Questions When Actresses Decide To Go Nude Kristen Stewart Says "Hollywood Is Disgustingly Sexist," Questions When Actresses Decide To Go Nude Watch: First Trailer For Woody Allen's Cannes Bound 'Irrational Man' With Joaquin Phoenix And Emma Stone Watch: First Trailer For Woody Allen's Cannes Bound 'Irrational Man' With Joaquin Phoenix And Emma Stone Warner Bros' DC Comics' Franchise Is Reportedly A Big Movie Universe Without A Clear Leader Warner Bros' DC Comics' Franchise Is Reportedly A Big Movie Universe Without A Clear Leader 'Jurassic World' Is Actually A Direct Sequel To 'Jurassic Park' 'Jurassic World' Is Actually A Direct Sequel To 'Jurassic Park' Cannes: New Images From 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard Cannes: New Images From 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender And Marion Cotillard The 22 Best Documentaries Of 2014 The 22 Best Documentaries Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

James Gray Teases Thriller 'The Gray Man' With Brad Pitt Might Be Next

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 26, 2012 at 2:56PM

While James Gray has become known for this thoughtful, gripping independent dramas, it was just a couple of years ago that he nearly made a splash with a big studio picture, "The Lost City Of Z" with Brad Pitt set to star. Near the end of 2010, Paramount yanked the cord on the project, and Gray left the movie and Pitt went on to work with Andrew Dominik on "Cogan's Trade." But it seems both Pitt and Gray stayed in touch. Just a couple of months later in early 2011, Gray signed to direct an adaptation of Mark Greaney's thriller "The Gray Man" and by late summer, Pitt had signed on to star. Not much has been heard since, but as Gray tells us, the project is still percolating and may be coming soon.
6
James Gray Brad Pitt The Gray Man

While James Gray has become known for this thoughtful, gripping independent dramas, it was just a couple of years ago that he nearly made a splash with a big studio picture, "The Lost City Of Z" with Brad Pitt set to star. Near the end of 2010, Paramount yanked the cord on the project, and Gray left the movie and Pitt went on to work with Andrew Dominik on "Cogan's Trade." But it seems both Pitt and Gray stayed in touch. Just a couple of months later in early 2011, Gray signed to direct an adaptation of Mark Greaney's thriller "The Gray Man" and by late summer, Pitt had signed on to star. Not much has been heard since, but as Gray tells us, the project is still percolating and may be coming soon.

"That absolutely may happen in a matter of months. It really depends on Brad Pitt's schedule and it depends on my schedule and how quickly I finish up this current movie and budget and all of those kind of boring factors. But it definitely may happen, and in fact it is more likely than not to happen," he said. Penned by Adam Cozad (one of the writers on the still developing Jack Ryan reboot for Paramount) the film follows a former CIA operative-turned ultimate assassin, targeted by a powerful multinational corporation, who must fight his way across Europe and past special forces teams from around the world in order to save the life of his handler and the handler's family. But if this sounds familiar, Gray is aiming to take a fresh approach to the action.

One of the centerpiece sequences in "We Own The Night," is a rain soaked car chase of sorts, that we see unfold mostly from the perspective of Joaquin Phoenix's character as he watches what transpires around him (see the scene below). And that's something Gray would like to do on this movie, albeit with much more money and tools at his disposal. "I've never done that kind of movie before and it certainly is a very enticing thing because what you do is you get to explore a kind of existential action on a scale that you really haven't been able to pursue before. I mean I started to experiment a little bit with what it is I'd like to do with an action movie [in] 'We Own the Night,' particularly with the car chase. I didn't have a huge amount of resources on 'We Own the Night.' I mean that picture was made for $19 million dollars, and I had very little time or money to do the car chase the way I wanted it, in fact I had to truncate quite a bit of it, but I felt that it would survive intact because of the central idea of it which is that you stay inside the car, it's during a rain storm, etc. So the whole idea was to make it in that style and then hopefully that the budget, the loose threads of the budget wouldn't show," Gray explained. "But on a movie like this, you don’t have that issue. You can really expose all of the aspects of an action movie that you want. Who knows? Maybe it won't be as effective. To have all of the toys at your disposal you use them and it's not always the right thing. Sometimes to make it work means to choose not to do something. So there is that challenge, but I'd like to have that challenge, it's a different field to play on."

The project is set up over at 20th Century Fox with New Regency also on board to produce. For now, Gray is just heading into the editing process on "Low Life" which will keep him tied up for the next few months. But we'd be fascinated to see him take on a studio action movie, because he certainly would be coming at the genre from an entirely different angle. And if it means a shorter wait between pictures, we're all for that as well.

This article is related to: The Gray Man, James Gray


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates