Widows is a project we have been hearing about for a number of years, but it just got a significant shot in the arm with the casting of the powerhouse, award-winning actress, Viola Davis. In what can only be confirmation that the script is now fully formed and in very good shape, Davis has signed on for an as-yet undisclosed (but undoubtedly leading) role for 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen.
Widows was a British miniseries created by Lynda La Plante. It originally aired its two six-part seasons in 1983 and 1985, with a sequel being broadcast in 1995. A short-lived remake for American television – written by Lynda La Plante – also appeared in 2002. In the drama, three armed robbers are killed, mid-heist, and their widows join forces to complete the raid themselves, with the help of a fourth woman. They are motivated by the pressure being applied by the police, and also by a rival gang of criminals seeking to take the power once held by the dead men. As the women enact their plan, however, they uncover a variety of truths about their husbands.
This new adaptation will be directed by Academy Award winner Steve McQueen, who has also co-written the script with Golden Globe nominee Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl). It is not yet clear whether the film will condense the entire story of the three seasons of the British television show, or whether some alternative version will be created – but what is clear is that the production is seeking to cast an ensemble of impressive performers.
To that end, the casting of Viola Davis is particularly exciting due to the dynamic of the character group within the original series. The widows organically form a hierarchy mirroring that which their late husbands created. It is to the wife of the leader of the criminal gang that the other widows look for guidance when their spouses are killed, and she takes the leadership position from that point on. If this is indeed the role now set to be played by Viola Davis, we are in for one brilliant heist movie.