Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More 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' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

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