Charlize Theron to take Brad Pitt part in The Gray Man

Charlize Theron

Actor to take rejigged role in thriller originally about a CIA operative-turned assassin, amid increase in use of gender-swapping to give women access to more interesting roles

Charlize Theron is to take a role originally intended for Brad Pitt in The Gray Man, a thriller about a CIA operative-turned-assassin who has to protect kids they never knew they had.

The role will be rejigged for Theron, according to Deadline. The original script, based on the first book in novelist Mark Greaney’s Gray Man series, was written by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, directors of the Marvel superhero caper Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the forthcoming Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Parts 1 and 2.

Gender swapping at the scriptwriting stage is increasingly allowing women access to more interesting roles. At this year’s Toronto film festival Sandra Bullock, who plays a political campaign manager in Our Brand Is Crisis said the fact women needed to resort to taking parts written for men was an indictment of Hollywood’s sexism. Her role was originally intended for the film’s producer, George Clooney.

“We’re complex, crazy little creatures,” said Bullock. “We deserve to have stories that reflect that. And normalise that instead of it being a rarity. ‘Oh she’s intelligent? She wants to travel the world and do things for herself? Well, that’s weird.’ That’s the way it’s played out for so long.”

Meanwhile, it was announced that Theron, who recently starred in Mad Max: Fury Road, will not star in the sequels to George Miller’s blockbuster. Her character, Imperator Furiosa, was championed by many as a step forward for female roles in mainstream cinema. She was, despite the film’s title, the dystopian action-adventure’s de facto lead.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Henry Barnes, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 13th October 2015 16.12 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010