The long-gestating adaptation of The Gray Man may be gaining steam at Sony, but there’s a twist! Per Deadline, Charlize Theron is now in the process of attaching herself as the star of the Mark Greaney adaptation, prompting a swap in gender for the story’s main character. The book series follows an expert CIA op-turned-assassin named Court Gentry who must fight his way across Europe, past special forces teams, in order to save the life of his handler.
The project was previously set up with The Immigrant helmer James Gray directing and Brad Pitt starring, but it has languished in development for quite some time. Forward movement occurred last May, when Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo became attached to direct, but they now have their hands full with Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Part 2, so they’re off the project. However, with Theron’s attachment things should heat up quite nicely in no time.
Theron is, obviously, coming off a stellar turn in George Miller’s masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road, a blockbuster that was refreshingly female-centric in nature, with Theron’s Furiosa really acting as the main character. Should she officially come aboard The Gray Man, she would sign on as a producer as well, with her Denver and Deliliah label producing alongside Joe Roth.
Gender-swapping in Hollywood isn’t a new notion, but it is thankfully becoming more prevalent. Sandra Bullock’s character in Our Brand Is Crisis was originally written as male, studios tried in vain to get screenwriter Taylor Sheridan to change his Sicario lead to a dude, and a few years ago Angelina Jolie took over the Salt role that was previously intended for Tom Cruise. Now, if all goes according to plan, we can add Theron to that (hopefully growing) list.