A few months back, we were excited by the news that 12 Years A Slave and Shame director Steve McQueen would be taking on a big-screen adaptation of the British heist miniseries Widows, and today brings news that upgrades our excitement level to pumped: In addition to directing, McQueen will be joined on screenwriting duties by one Gillian Flynn, the novelist and screenwriter behind last year’s Gone Girl (who probably should have been nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar but WHATEVER, I’m over it, hmph). The Brit-American collaboration extends to the film’s financing as well, which will be split by New Regency (responsible for both 12 Years A Slave and Gone Girl) and the U.K.’s Film 4.
I haven’t seen Widows—mainly because I wasn’t born yet when it aired in the U.K. in 1983—but the summary reveals a project that seems right up Flynn’s dark and shadowy alley: After a trio of armed robbers are killed during a job, their widows resolve to finish the job themselves, and maybe get a little vengeance for their husbands in the process. Flynn obviously has some experience with dark crime thrillers, and with bringing her own voice to projects helmed by prestige directors. (Flynn is also re-teaming with Gone Girl director David Fincher for an HBO adaptation of another British series, Utopia.) The heist aspect isn’t really something we’ve seen from her or McQueen—though Amy’s long con in Gone Girl could certainly be considered a caper of sorts—but it seems close enough to both of their wheelhouses to be sufficiently intriguing.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, McQueen intends for his version of Widows—which won’t be called Widows—to diverge significantly from the original series, pitching it to New Regency as “his own version of a gangster film,” that will “combine a contemporary, hard-hitting, very grounded gangster movie with four strong female characters.” (Yay!) It will also reportedly take place in a modern-day American city, not the original’s London. All of this bodes well for Flynn’s involvement. It seems like casting will be critical to the eventual success of this Widows, but at this early stage, the idea of McQueen and Flynn working together on this material is a very promising sign in and of itself.