We Own The Night director James Gray was attached to direct an assassin thriller called The Gray Man back in 2011, and Brad Pitt was in negotiations to play the lead role. But if Deadline's latest report is accurate, it looks like the story's male lead is about to turn into a female lead as Charlize Theron is in talks to come on board the project to replace Pitt.
Here's the synopsis of Mark Greaney's book on which the film is based:
Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man — a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.
Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living...and killing to stay alive.
Theron is supposedly playing a gender-swapped version of Gentry. A similar situation happened with the spy thriller Salt a few years ago. That movie was initially developed for Tom Cruise before ultimately being revamped for Angelina Jolie after Cruise dropped out.
The Russo Brothers (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Civil War) were originally going to direct this project, but they had to bail when they got the gig directing the two-part Avengers: Infinity War. They wrote the script, though, and whoever steps in to direct will work from that script. No word yet if the project needs a rewrite to incorporate Theron as a female lead, or if the Russos have already done that (Deadline claims this casting has been months in the making), but we'll keep you posted with any major updates. Theron is certainly one of the most capable actors around; just look at her Oscar-winning work in Monster compared to something like the kick-ass character in Mad Max: Fury Road to know she can play all types. Stepping into the shoes of an assassin should be no problem for her.