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Steve McQueen Adds Cynthia Erivo to ‘Widows,’ Jessica Chastain & Scarlett Johansson Find New Roles, and More

Written by on November 15, 2016 


When we got word earlier this fall that Viola Davis would be joining Steve McQueen‘s adaptation of the crime drama Widows, based on the British television series, there was still open leading roles for one black woman, one white woman, and one Latina woman. Now, one of the them has been filled for the film scripted by McQueen and Gone Girl‘s Gillian Flynn.

Variety reports that Cynthia Erivo, who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in The Color Purple this year, has joined the crime drama, with McQueen reportedly thinking of her for the film since he began to work on it. The film, which we’ll hopefully see by late 2017, centers on four widows who come together to finish a robbery after their crooked husbands are killed on the job.

jessica chastainIn other news, after producing The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby and the forthcoming The Zookeeper’s Wife, Jessica Chastain has found another feature she’ll both star in and produce. According to Deadline, she’s getting behind an adaptation of Painkiller Jane, the graphic novel series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada.

The drama will find her taking the role of a NYC cop named Jane Vasko who gets brought in by the FBI to take down a major drug and human trafficking ring. A supernatural twist comes in when she gets regenerative abilities, making her an “unstoppable force of nature.” If this is the closest she gets to a superhero movie, it sounds like the ideal one.

Grab Cut Insert Cut 8415501 tracks#Retna1Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson has found a potential new starring role. Deadline reports George Clooney‘s company Smokehouse and Imperative Entertainment have picked up the rights to adapt the thriller Tangerine (no relation to Sean Baker’s film) with the Under the Skin star set to lead. From writer Christine Mangan, her debut book follows a woman in 1950s Morocco who “tries to leave both her past and her college roommate behind after the man she intends to marry suddenly dies.” The story then jumps a few years as “she reconnects with that same roommate, Lucy, and then Alice’s husband disappears. The mystery leaves Alice to wonder if Lucy is as dangerous as she thinks or whether she is imaging things.”

Lastly, in more casting news, after being announced this summerBrie Larson has recently begun shooting her directorial debut Unicorn Store and she’s expanded her ensemble. With Larson set to lead, her Kong: Skull Island co-star Samuel L. Jackson, as well as Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford have joined the cast. Scripted by Samantha McIntyre, Unicorn Store centers on a woman who moves back in with her parents. She receives an invitation to a store that will test her ideas of what it really means to grow up. We can likely expect a 2017 festival premiere for the film.

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