Netflix's The Gray Man Already Has A Sequel, Spin-Off In Development, Whether You Like It Or Not

Though Netflix's TV department started out very promising, with unique and experimental shows you couldn't find anywhere else, it all started stagnating once wave after wave of cancellation brought a reality check to the era of streaming. Something similar happened on the film side as its output has ballooned to ludicrous levels, but occasionally, the streamer will come through and help finance and produce risky auteur projects like Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio" or Andrew Dominik's "Blonde."

Meanwhile, the streaming giant has been on the hunt for a blockbuster franchise to rival the traditional Hollywood heavy hitters. Perhaps they took a step in that direction with "Red Notice," which (apparently) became a huge success and it has multiple sequels on the way. And today, we can add one more film to the list of prospective franchises: "The Gray Man" is getting its own cinematic universe.

A cinematic universe is born

Netflix has announced that viewership numbers for Anthony and Joe Russo's "The Gray Man" have been so high (according to their totally trustworthy and not at all suspect internal reports, the film was the number one most-watched movie in 92 countries) that they are turning it into a "major spy franchise." Despite mediocre reviews, Netflix announced not only a sequel film, now in development with Ryan Gosling and the Russo brothers set to make their return, but also a spin-off film.

We don't know what the spin-off film will be about just yet, but the press release describes it is going to "explore a different element of 'The Gray Man' universe" — maybe a movie focused on Ana de Armas's Dani Miranda, or perhaps a prequel starring Chris Evans' sociopathic villain, Hansen? Earlier this month, the Russo brothers said they wanted to continue telling stories with Dhanush's character, The Lone Wolf, who was a highlight in an otherwise muted film, but nothing is set in stone yet.

"The audience reaction to 'The Gray Man' has been nothing short of phenomenal," the Russo brothers said in a statement. "We are so appreciative of the enthusiasm that fans across the world have had for this film. With so many amazing characters in the movie, we had always intended for 'The Gray Man' to be part of an expanded universe, and we are thrilled that Netflix is announcing a sequel with Ryan, as well as a second script that we're excited to talk about soon."

"The Gray Man" is streaming on Netflix.