Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Brad Pitt will star in the New Regency action movie The Gray Man. James Gray was set in January to direct the film, an adaptation of Mark Greaney’s thriller novel. I’d heard Pitt’s name back then, but the studio and actors reps denied the Moneyball star was doing it at the time. The question has always been timing, because Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie don’t work at the same time. They usually rotate. Jolie directed In the Land of Blood and Honey, and now Pitt is starring in World War Z. Jolie has been seriously eyeing the Disney film Maleficent, but that picture needs a director. If she took her turn, then the timing of The Gray Man gets thrown off. If Pitt makes two movies in a row, he’ll finish World War Z in late fall and The Gray Man will begin production in January or February. That’s how it’s looking now, because I’m told that Pitt has been locked down for that first-quarter 2012 slot.

Script for The Gray Man was written by Adam Cozad, who also scripted the Jack Ryan franchise reboot for Paramount with Chris Pine and director Jack Bender. Targeted by a powerful multinational corporation, a former CIA operative-turned-ultimate assassin must fight his way across Europe and past special forces teams from around the world in order to save the life of his handler and the handler’s family. New Regency’s Navid McIlhargey is steering the film and Shine Pictures’ Stephen Garrett is producing. Pitt’s Plan B partner Dede Gardner has also come aboard to produce.

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