The Gray Man is an American action thriller film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Mark Greaney. It’s about an ex-prisoner who accepted the CIA’s offer to work for them as their secret agent named Sierra Six in exchange for his early release from prison. Years later while on a mission, Sierra Six comes to possession of a drive detailing the corruption of one of the CIA’s top agents. After that, Sierra Six becomes a target and must go on the run while trying to expose the agent’s corruption.
The film stars Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Ryan Gosling, and many others like Jessica Henwick, Regé-Jean Page, Wagner Moura, Julia Butters, Dhanush, Alfre Woodard, and Billy Bob Thornton.
But, besides being a great action thriller, the movie is also visually stunning as it was shot in various locations around the world. The shooting location was also Croatia, a small European country known for its rich cultural heritage, natural sites, and beautiful islands. One of those islands was used as a filming location where Zbrka Castle is situated in the movie and it made us immediately fall in love with the beauties of the Croatian shore.
However, fans of the movie were somewhat confused because Zbrka Castle doesn’t seem to exist in that particular location in real life – or does it? We’ll explain this a little further.
The Zbrka Castle Croatia?
Among many beautiful sceneries we get to see in this movie, Zbrka Castle was also one of them. The Gray man portrays Zbrka Castle as a mansion where Hansen ( Chris Evans ), holds Claire ( Julia Butters) and Fitzroy ( Billy Bob Thorton ) hostage. Hansen is a sociopathic ex-CIA agent hired to eliminate Siera Six and has his base of operations in the Zbrka Castle also.
In the movie, Zbrka Castle is situated on the island of Mljet in Croatia. We get to see the island from the air somewhere in the middle of a movie and Zbrka Castle in the middle of it. However, while the island of Mljet is an actual island and filled with natural and cultural beauties, in the real-life Zbrka Castle doesn’t exist, at least not in Croatia.
While the name of the castle is made up, the architecture and structure of it are not. Zbrka Castle is actually a Chantilly Castle located in France, about 30 miles ( 50 kilometers) north of Paris.
Chantilly Castle is located in the town of Chantilly, Oise department, in the Hauts-de-France region of France, and it is a historic monument that was once home to a powerful noble family Montmorency. The castle’s construction started in the 14th century and has been remodeled several times over the centuries. It is now a museum and a popular tourist destination.
The castle is best known for its beautiful gardens, which were designed by the famous landscape architect André Le Nôtre. The gardens include a number of fountains, ponds, and sculptures. The castle also houses a large collection of art, including paintings by masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Rembrandt. The castle is open to the public and visitors can tour the gardens and rooms of the castle.
So, how is it possible that in a movie a French castle is situated in Croatia on the island of Mljet? Well, according to one of The Gray Man’s directors, Joe Russo, some of the sequences of the movie were actually filmed in Croatia, but the climax of the movie was filmed at the Chateau de Chantilly in France. “…we took the Chateau from France and placed it in a moat in Croatia.” – he said.
The Gray Man Filming Explained
The movie is visually stunning as it was shot in various locations around the world. While some of the scenes were filmed on built sets in the USA, most of the scenes were actually shot in Europe.
For example, Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic was the place where many of the fight sequences were shot. Also, the initial sequence of the movie, where the mission in Bangkok took place was also filmed in Prague. Other cities of the Czech Republic were also used as movie sets such as Milovice and Ústí nad Labem. According to one of the directors, Anthony Russo, the Czech Republic is a very friendly place to film movies, ‘it’s very film savvy‘, he says.
France was also one of the locations where The Gray man was filmed as the climax of the movie was shot in the Chateau de Chantilly where Hansen and Six had their final encounter. As the Chantilly Castle is open for visitors by day, the movie crew used this location to shoot during the night.
The Gray Man uses different card locations where the storyline apparently takes place, like Monaco, London, Vienna, Florida State Prison, etc., but sequences of the movie where these places are portrayed are most likely filmed on the Long Beach sets in California.
It’s nothing new or unusual as Hollywood filmmakers often do this in order to save time and money.
The Zbrka Castle Croatia? Explained
So, as we already mentioned, the magnificent Zbrka Castle is a fictional castle that, in a movie, is situated on the beautiful Croatian island of Mljet. The moat we see in the movie is actually a part of the island of Mljet, but Zbrka Castle was digitally ‘inserted’ in the midst of it. Zbrka Castle, which left many of fans intrigued because of its grandiose look is actually the Chantilly Castle located in the town of Chantilly, Oise department, in the Hauts-de-France region of France, about 30 miles ( 50 kilometers) north of Paris. The Castle’s premises were used in filming other movies also, such as James Bond: A View to a Kill.
So, if you are interested in a tour of Chantilly Castle, that is where you’ll find it.
The Gray Man had a budget of $200 million and is considered one of Netflix’s most expensive movies of all time. Considering all the beautiful scenery and locations it was shot, we think the movie producer really made the best out of that budget.