The Gray Man: The Russo Brothers on Familiar Faces and New Technology

The Gray Man is gearing up for an action-packed release this month, reuniting the Russo Brothers with Chris Evans after the group made a pair of Captain America movies and the two biggest Avengers films together. This time around. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo also re-teamed with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for an adaptation of Mark Greaney's high-octane novel. While much of The Gray Man's personnel is familiar to the Russo Brothers, the technology was largely new and they got to try their hand at some new directing techniques and opportunities while working on Netflix's next big title.

"We did a lot. Joe and I have always been really fed by technology," Anthony Russo told "We like finding new toys because it allows us to create experiences we haven't seen before. Certainly, in this movie, we've used a number of things like the speed drone was not... When we sort of were able to put it to use, it hadn't been used much. And I think it creates a sort of a really stunning, exciting effect in the movie. A lot of visual effect work that we do is innovative and it's innovative in ways that you may not notice." 

In fact, Anthony Russo was excited to share some insights about a new technology which allows the filmmakers to capture the appearance of their lead actors and replace the faces of stunt team members for an added level of authenticity throughout the film. this technology is still evolving and it's a filmmaking tactic which the directing duo has implemented on one big project before. "We are working with various technologies that can capture actors' performances and facial performances and map them onto either stunt performers, bodies, or Digi-doubles in a way that people haven't seen before," Anthony Russo went on. "It's kind of all based on the performance capture technology that we innovated with on the character of Thanos, in terms of how we worked with Josh Brolin. In terms of capturing and mapping his performance as a person onto a fictional character. So yeah, technology has always been really important to us and hopefully, even if you don't know exactly what it is while you're watching the movie, hopefully, you're feeling it."


The Gray Man (2022). (L to R) Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen, Anthony Russo (Director-Producer), Joe Russo (Director-Producer-Writer). Cr. Paul Abell/Netflix © 2022


Meanwhile, The Gray Man also gives Chris Evans the opportunity to challenge himself in new ways under Anthony and Joe's direction. The Lloyd character played by Evans is quite the opposite of Captain America, despite The Gray Man as a movie being an idea first hatched on the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. "[Chris Evans is] fortunate enough to be at a place in his career where he's just interested in taking risks," Joe Russo said. "So I think he really embraced the role. This movie is a real simple parable between good and evil. Both of these lead characters are killers, but one leans away from humanity and one leans towards humanity. Chris's character comes out of a lot of ideas and philosophies that are playing out in the world today. He looks and dresses reflective of some extremist ideas that are playing out in the world today. And he embraced that. He understood the assignment and he ran really hard at this notion that he was an agent of chaos."

While Evans is back, his longtime Captain America stuntman Sam Hargrave was not on set in the same suits this time. "Sam was off shooting extraction," Joe Russo said. "James Young, who did stunt choreography for us on Infinity War and Endgame, stepped up to be a second unit director and co-stunt coordinator on this. So it's still all in the family. It's still all the people that we've been working with for the last decade. A lot of the stunt players are the same stunt players that we've worked with on our last four or five films."

Are you excited to see some of the new tricks and filmmaking tactics Anthony Russo and Joe Russo have cooked up with The Gray Man? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Twitter. The Gray Man releases in theater on July 15 before hitting Netflix on July 22.