When the Russo brothers are at the helm you know you’re in for an experience.

The directorial duo behind the MCU’s crowning achievements – Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame – are back making blockbusters and The Gray Man is reportedly Netflix’s most expensive movie yet with a budget of $200 million.

Based on Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel of the same name, Ryan Gosling stars as “Sierra Six”, who the CIA got out of prison many years ago so they could make him one of their top mercenaries. However, the CIA want him terminated after he uncovers disturbing agency secrets.

Chris Evans’ Lloyd Hansen is up to the task, alerting some of the world’s deadliest assassins and tracking his movements.

It’s a wild ride but one of the film’s most pressing questions isn’t addressed until much later on. Why was Six in prison in The Gray Man in the first place?


still from The Gray Man, courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Why was Six in prison in The Gray Man?

Six eventually reveals that he was sent to prison from a young age for murdering his own father.

At the beginning of the movie, we see Donald Fitzroy (played by Billy Bob Thornton) visiting Six in prison and offering him a lifeline. He essentially tells Six that he can get him out of jail if he comes to work for the CIA.

Not only that, but Donald mysteriously alludes to the reason that Six is locked up, admitting that he would’ve done the same thing.

Fast forward and the mystery surrounding his incarceration is solved. Six begins to recount his childhood, saying that his father was constantly pushing him and his brother to be violent and tough by any means necessary. He was basically training his sons to be bad, destructive people.

Six began to suspect that his father was becoming increasingly hostile towards his brother, believing that it would be him or his father. In short, he thought his father might end up killing his brother. So, he took action to save him and fatally shot his father.

Despite arguing that he did what had to be done, he was sent to prison all the same.

The Gray Man | Official Trailer

The Gray Man | Official Trailer

‘It took a long time to get there’

During a recent conversation on Good Morning America, Ryan Gosling opened up about transitioning into the sphere of mega-budget action blockbusters:

“It took a long time to get there but, you know, it was like finding the right one, finding the right character and obviously the Russo brothers directing this, who have been doing this for a decade at Marvel and killing it, I just knew I could go along for the crazy ride and feel comfortable with them driving.”

As for the genre itself, he says he was such a devoted fan growing up. He even went as far as to say that the action genre was “probably what made me fall in love with movies.”

The Gray Man books scream franchise potential

Although Netflix nor the Russo brothers have confirmed a sequel, the brothers did tell Insider that, as filmmakers, they’d like to direct another.

Fortunately, there are another 10 novels in Mark Greaney’s The Gray Man novel series to adapt and an eleventh – titled Burner – is due for release in 2023. The franchise potential is certainly there.

The Gray Man is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.