ScreenRant.com, By Alyzza Chelsea Avestruz, Posted October 18th 2022
Regé-Jean Page’s role in The Gray Man weakens hopes for his casting as the next James Bond. With a production budget of $200 million, The Gray Man is considered Netflix’s most expensive film. Over the first three days of its release, the action thriller was reportedly streamed for a total of 88.55 million hours, making it the fifth-best debut for a Netflix film. This success can be mainly attributed to its promising ensemble cast, which includes Bridgerton’s breakout star, Regé-Jean Page.
Based on Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel of the same name, The Gray Man follows Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), a CIA operative on the run from agent-turned private contractor Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans). With a premise like this, the film has been inevitably compared to modern action franchises; in fact, Page himself, one of the frontrunners for James Bond 26’s titular role, has acknowledged the genre giant’s influence on the Netflix movie with its showcase of resilient yet sophisticated espionage. Additionally, The Gray Man, which references Gosling’s next role, also directly alludes to Bond, as Gosling’s character jokingly quipped that his nickname was Six because 007 was already taken.
In The Gray Man, Six and Lloyd’s around-the-world chase was initiated by Page’s character, CIA official Denny Carmichael. However, although his dubious motives led to the story’s primary conflict, he was not present in most of the action sequences; instead, he took a back seat and only gave orders for the movie’s duration. As such, Page’s role in The Gray Man proved unhelpful for his possible casting as the notorious Secret Service agent, James Bond. There was no opportunity for him to go on a high-stakes, dangerous mission while tracking down powerful villains. Understandably, the Netflix trend-reliant movie The Gray Man was not written with Page in mind as the lead. But, his involvement in the big-budget spy movie was still unmemorable – partially due to a thankless script for his character, but mostly due to his surprisingly flat performance amplified by the film’s arguably lukewarm critical impact.
Will Regé-Jean Page Be The Next James Bond?
Rumors about the next James Bond started circulating following the conclusion of Daniel Craig’s fifteen-year tenure as 007, which ended with the release of No Time To Die. Among the Bond casting frontrunners is Regé-Jean Page, who rose into international prominence after his role as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, in Bridgerton. These ongoing casting talks can be attributed to his momentum as a rising star, coupled with his abundant charisma and sophisticated appearance. Because he is a lesser-known celebrity than the other contenders, Page can be a better 007 since he can probably provide a unique, more nuanced reinvention of the classic character without the weight of audience expectations. The Gray Man’s directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, even expressed their support for Page’s casting possibility, citing the actor’s charm and acting prowess (via Variety).
Interestingly, when asked about his future as James Bond during The Gray Man’s world premiere, Page acted as if he could not hear the question. While that may just be his way of dispelling those rumors and ensuring that the event was focused on their newly-released film, it still caused quite a stir among hopeful viewers. Since the Bond successor has not yet been formally announced, Page, alongside the rest of the rumored Bond frontrunners such as Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, and Richard Madden, still has a fighting chance. While his part in The Gray Man may have dented those Bond 26 casting hopes, only time will tell if he will indeed get to embody the iconic British spy.