Denny Carmichael and Lloyd Hansen may be the big antagonists of The Gray Man, but the characters hint Carmichael’s unseen boss is the real villain. Denny Carmichael serves as The Gray Man’s main antagonist, the CIA director suggests his unseen boss is the story’s true villain. Netflix’s 2022 movie The Gray Man follows Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), whose real name is Court Gentry, a former prisoner-turned-CIA assassin who goes on the run after he’s given a drive containing dark secrets about the agency. As Carmichael (Regé-Jean Page) uses dubious methods to retrieve the drive by hiring the unpredictable mercenary Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), it becomes clear that he’s not actually the most threatening foe Six still has to face.
Lloyd is first asked by Carmichael to kill The Gray Man’s main character, Six, he questions whether the “Old Man” knows about his being hired. Carmichael responds that “heads would roll,” indicating that he’s not the CIA figure with the most influence. Later on, CIA Agent Suzanne Brewer (Jessica Henwick) also asks her colleague Carmichael if the Old Man is aware of the situation with Lloyd hunting down Six, with the character suggesting that Carmichael will lie to their boss about hiring the erratic Lloyd. However, by the time the agents are exonerated in The Gray Man’s ending, the secret CIA villain is never revealed.
Plays Young Six In The Gray Man’s Young Six actor also stars in a notable TV show, with his Netflix character sharing apt connections to the arc of his more famous role. The actor who plays young Sierra Six in The Gray Man’s flashbacks is already playing one of the most notable child roles on TV. Netflix’s The Gray Man is adapted from the 2009 book of the same name by Mark Greaney, following Sierra Six, a CIA mercenary who uncovers dark secrets about the agency while on a mission. Starring Ryan Gosling as Six, Ana de Armas as his CIA ally Agent Miranda, Regé-Jean Page as the antagonistic Denny Carmichael, and Chris Evans as the rogue mercenary Lloyd Hansen, The Gray Man continues Netflix’s trend of placing A-list stars in big-budget action thrillers.
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The Gray Man uncovers how Ryan Gosling’s character became the ruthless agent Sierra Six, the Russo brothers’ movie cuts to his past with quick flashbacks. The Gray Man reveals that Sierra Six, whose real name is Courtland Gentry, was physically and emotionally abused by his father as a child, whose “unsound” methods of making him and his brother “macho” included drowning him in bathtubs and burning him with cigarettes. The flashbacks eventually uncover that young Six landed himself in prison at 15 years old when he shot and killed his father in order to stop him from murdering his brother. The Gray Man’s flashbacks only make up a small portion of Court Gentry’s depicted story, young Six is portrayed by a significant up-and-coming child actor. His face is largely hidden in the flashbacks, but it’s clear that The Gray Man’s young Six is played by Cameron Crovetti, who is best known for playing Ryan Butcher on Amazon Prime’s The Boys. As the son of the villainous superhero Homelander and Billy Butcher’s wife, Ryan plays an incredibly important role in The Boys, with Cameron Crovetti having to increasingly show his acting chops as his father influences his moral decay. The Gray Man’s Cameron Crovetti also starred in HBO’s Big Little Lies as Josh Wright alongside his twin brother, where his character was once again the son of a sociopathic father.
The Gray Man 2, the Russo brothers’ Netflix movie only dances around the identity of the big villain. It seems that Denny Carmichael serves as the face in charge of the CIA’s assassins while his feared boss pulls the strings from the shadows. Without a name or physical appearance from the Old Man, The Gray Man’s ending leaves it mysterious as to who Carmichael is really working for. While Fitzroy died after sacrificing himself to save Six and Claire’s lives in The Gray Man, it’s implied that he knew the true identity of the Old Man due to the fact that he was abruptly pushed out of the CIA in favor of the young and ambitious Carmichael. Since the backstory for Carmichael’s character differs from his past in The Gray Man books, it seems unlikely that the sequel will adapt the twist that his boss was a member of the Saudi Intelligence Service. Rather, The Gray Man 2’s villain is apt to be an original character whose influence in the CIA ties back to the now-deceased Fitzroy and Cahill.