Netflix’s The Gray Man is a globe-trotting thriller both on and off the screen. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the film takes audiences around the globe, sprawling from North America to Europe and Asia. Part of what makes The Gray Man so visually stunning is the fact that much of the film was shot on location around the world.
The Gray Man follows Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), who is a specially trained assassin working for the CIA on the run from the organization he works for after discovering dark secrets while on a mission in Bangkok. A chase across the globe ensues as the CIA hunts for Six, who is tracked by deadly assassins controlled by mercenary Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans). Aided by CIA agent Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas), Six must evade their attempts on his life and protect his loved ones, Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton )and his niece Claire (Julia Butters), before they fall into Hansen’s clutches.
Serving as Netflix’s most expensive film to date, The Gray Man makes the most of its mammoth budget through filming on location and utilizing real stunts. While portions of The Gray Man were filmed on built sets in the United States, much of the globe-trotting adventure was filmed overseas after being delayed by COVID-19 early in its shooting schedule. Here is a guide to the locations used in the (costly) filming of The Gray Man.
Long Beach, California
Although most of The Gray Man was shot on location in Europe, the film also utilized California during its production. The film began production in Long Beach, CA, in March 2021 after being delayed by COVID-19. Long Beach is a location that has been used to film past Hollywood blockbusters, such as Jon Favreau’s Iron Man. The Gray Man utilized 21 sets, which were built in a 1,200,000 square foot former Boeing manufacturing hangar in Long Beach.
Some of The Gray Man’s most epic fight sequences were shot on location in Prague. The production had control of a major city square in Prague for what director Joe Russo called “10 days of gunfire and explosions and car crashes” (via Newsweek). Prague was home to the sprawling tram fight sequence between Six (who is called his real name once) and Hansen’s assassins. Rather than using a real Prague tram, the production utilized custom tram props to pull off the sequence. Despite not using much CGI for the film, the production took care to avoid damaging the historic city and the city square. Outside of using the city center itself, the film’s production also shot in the areas of Průhonice, Smíchov, Žižkov, Holešovice, and Karlín. The city also doubled as Bangkok, where the botched mission that was the inciting incident of The Gray Man took place.
In addition to Prague, The Gray Man was shot in other towns in the Czech Republic, including Milovice and Ústí nad Labem. Interestingly, the scenes that took place in Baku were not actually shot in Baku but in the Czech Republic. The Russo brothers spoke highly of shooting The Gray Man in the Czech Republic, with Anthony Russo stating, “…the Czech Republic, in general, is super film friendly, very film savvy” (via RadioTimes).
Although The Gray Man’s end is meant to occur in Croatia, it was filmed in France. The climactic face-off between Six and Hansen at the end of the film was shot at the Chateau de Chantilly at night after the grounds had been closed to visitors. Chateau de Chantilly has a storied history dating back to the 14th century, although the original mansion was destroyed in the French Revolution and was later restored to its current glory. Located just 30 miles outside of Paris, the historic castle has also hosted other action films in the past, such as 1985’s James Bond entry A View To A Kill, where it served as the enemy territory that belonged to villain Max Zorin.
Interestingly, while the climax of The Gray Man, which was meant to take place in Croatia, was filmed at the Chateau de Chantilly in France, part of the sequence was filmed in Croatia after all. The moat seen during this sequence was located in Croatia. According to Joe Russo, “…we took the Chateau from France and placed it in a moat in Croatia.”
The Gray Man’s Card Locations Explained
Throughout The Gray Man, the film uses several title cards to disclose the scene’s location. However, not all of these cards have confirmed filming locations. Here is a description of those cards, what they depict, and where they might have been filmed:
The Gray Man opens in a flashback sequence to a Florida State Prison in 2003. This sees The Gray Man characters Six and Donald Fitzroy meeting for the first time as Fitzroy offers Gentry the opportunity to join the Sierra program and work with the CIA in exchange for his freedom. Given that this scene takes place entirely inside, it seems likely that this scene was filmed on one of the sets in Long Beach.
Intertwined with the Bangkok sequence featuring a botched mission between Six and Dani is interactions with the CIA Technical Operations Center in Langley. This is where the film’s villainous mastermind, Rege-Jean Page’s Denny Carmichael, is introduced, who urges Six to take out his target (who ended up being revealed as Sierra Four). The CIA Technical Operations Center in Langley was also likely filmed on one of the sets in Long Beach.
The film’s other villain, Lloyd Hansen, is introduced in Monaco, where he is torturing a man. He is interrupted when he receives a call from Carmichael, who orders him to go after Six. It seems likely that Hansen’s torture chamber was probably one of the sets located in Long Beach.
After the scene between Hansen and Carmichael, the film goes to Chiang Mai. Here, Six boards a plane sent by Fitzroy to escape Asia. The film’s production did indeed visit Thailand, so it is possible that this sequence was filmed on location in Chiang Mai.
The next location card places Six in a flashback sequence to two years previous in London. This scene provides exposition about Fitzroy’s niece, Claire, and Six’s relationship with her, which begins when he is tasked with looking after her when Fitzroy’s Hong Kong address is leaked. The London portion of the sequence was likely shot on one of the Long Beach sets. There is no record that the production actually traveled to Hong Kong to film the Fitzroy home, so it might be possible that they staged the Hong Kong sequence in Thailand.
The next title card places Six in Vienna in the present, where he is attempting to locate Claire Fitzroy by finding her pacemaker. However, he is betrayed by his contact for the bounty on Sierra Six, leading Hansen to Six’s location. Given the trap door trick that Six’s contact pulls on him, this sequence was likely filmed on one of the Long Beach sets.
While Six is trapped, the film cuts to Dani’s meeting with Carmichael in Berlin. He quizzes her on her knowledge of the Sierra program before being interrupted with a text notifying him of Six’s location in Vienna. Despite orders to remain in Berlin, Dani leaves to aid Six in Vienna. Since the meeting occurred inside, the scene was probably shot on one of the Long Beach sets.
After The Gray Man’s climactic castle fight sequence, the main characters return to the United States. Here, they are exonerated of their involvement in the film’s events since the entire affair was posthumously pinned on Hansen by Suzanne Brewer (played by Jessica Henwick) to cover up Carmichael’s actions. Each of the scenes involved in the film’s conclusions were likely shot in Long Beach.