Ryan Gosling has been tapped to star in Universal’s stuntman drama The Fall Guy, which the studio is prepping to shoot in Australia with director David Leitch at the helm. According to Variety, The Fall Guy will employ over 1,000 Aussie crew and 3,000 extras; the film will also showcase Sydney landscapes and studio facilities. The project was previously set up with Dwayne Johnson in the lead and McG at the helm.
To this end, the project has received financing from the Australian government. Australia’s federal government and the New South Wales state authorities will provide $21.1 million and $10.2 million, respectively. Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said that the production is expected to inject more than $170 million into the economy. He said:
“We are pleased to welcome The Fall Guy down under with $30 million ($21.1 million) in support from our highly successful Location Incentive, with the production to employ over 1,000 Australian cast and crew, and more than 3,015 Australian extras.”
The Fall Guy is based on a television series that ran from 1981-86. It was created by Glen A. Larson and starred Lee Majors as a Hollywood stuntman who has a side hustle as a bounty hunter to make ends meet.
Incidentally, this isn’t the first time that Gosling will play a Hollywood stuntman in a film; the actor previously starred as the Driver in director Nicolas Winding Refn’s cult hit Drive. For Leitch, this serves as a return to roots of sorts; he got his start in the industry as a stunt double and stunt coordinator, before co-directing the first John Wick movie. He followed it up with major franchise fare such as Deadpool 2 and the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw.
Drive functioned as a sort of gateway into more artistic territory for Gosling, a former child star whose biggest starring role up till that point came in the romantic comedy The Notebook. He has since become one of the most sought-after stars in the industry, having appeared in hits such as Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Big Short and La La Land. His last film was 2018’s First Man, director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning smash hit La La Land, which fizzled at the box office despite stellar reviews. He will next be seen as the lead in directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo’s potential franchise-starter The Gray Man, which is slated for a Netflix release in July. In the spy-thriller, Gosling will be paired alongside Chris Evans.
He’ll follow it up with probably the role that he was born to play: Ken in a live-action Barbie movie directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie in the titular role. Leitch’s next film is the stylish action thriller Bullet Train, due out in August. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates.