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Charlize Theron in talks to star as gender-flipped lead in The Gray Man

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Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

Charlize Theron is in talks to star in Sony’s upcoming action-thriller The Gray Man as a former CIA assassin in a role originally written for a man.

The project is an adaptation of Mark Greaney’s 2009 novel, and it’s been in development for several years, with Brad Pitt at one point attached to star and with James Gray directing. Greaney’s novel follows Court Gentry, a former CIA assassin turned hitman who realizes that the team sent in to rescue him after a job has actually been sent to kill him.

Last year, Sony Pictures acquired the rights to The Gray Man, with Anthony and Joe Russo on board to write and direct. While the Theron version will work from the Russo brothers’ script, a new director has not been announced.

The Gray Man joins a number of recent films that have changed their main character’s gender: Sandra Bullock’s role as a political strategist in the upcoming Our Brand Is Crisis was originally written for George Clooney, and Julia Roberts joined Secret in Their Eyes in a role written for a man.