Charlize Theron’s Awesomeness Inspires Gender-Swap for Action Thriller ‘The Gray Man’
It’s not unheard of for a film to change the gender of its leading role to accommodate an actor. Salt was originally intended as a vehicle for Tom Cruise before they simply changed the protagonist’s name for Angelina Jolie to star, and Sigourney Weaver’s iconic Alien hero Ripley was famously conceived as a man. You can add another cool gender-swap to the list, as Charlize Theron is in talks to join action thriller The Gray Man, playing a role that once attracted Brad Pitt.
According to Deadline, Theron is in early talks to star in The Gray Man, a film written by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo. The Russos initially planned on helming the project themselves before they got a little too busy with Marvel (they’re also directing Avengers: Infinity War). The Gray Man is currently without a director, though James Gray was briefly attached when Pitt was in talks to star.
The film centers on a CIA operative / assassin who is hit with an onslaught of antagonists whom he (or she!) must defeat in order to save the lives of the daughters he (or she!) didn’t know he (or she!) had. Should Theron officially sign on, the script will have to be slightly reworked to explain how her character is unaware that she has children.
Theron was exceptionally badass this summer as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, and while George Miller revealed that she may not have much of a part (if at all) in the next sequel, Theron is keeping busy with ass-kicking roles. She’s reprising her part as the evil queen Ravenna in The Huntsman, and she’s starring in the action thriller The Coldest City from John Wick co-director David Leitch.
Re-casting a male role with a woman is one way to address the gender imbalance in Hollywood, and it doesn’t take much effort to simply change a male character to female — the defining trait of most film characters isn’t their gender, and filmmakers could go a long way in correcting the industry’s rampant sexism by simply changing their male characters to women.