The Martian and A Most Violent Year star Jessica Chastain has opened negotiations to topline upcoming Native American feature film, Woman Walking Ahead.
Deadline has the scoop, reporting that the Oscar-nominated actress is circling the role of Catherine Weldon, a real-life Brooklyn artist and activist who marched resolutely to the Standing Rock Reservation in the late 19th century to express solidarity with Sitting Bull, a “Hunkpapa Lakota holy man who led his people during years of resistance to United States government policies.” At the time, Dakota Territory was the topic of heated debate between the government and the tribal resistance. However, despite her best intentions, Weldon was ironically banished from the camp, and the Standing Rock people were pushed into signing away their land.
Lambasted by the American press, Weldon was referred to as “Sitting Bull’s white squaw,” though Chastain’s character stood firm in the face of adversary. Upon revisiting the area with her young son some years later, she earned the title Woman Walking Ahead for her eccentric qualities.
A meaty and enviable role for Chastain, then, who is fast becoming one of the more prolific actresses in all of Hollywood. Should the deal fall into place, she’ll join a production that will be helmed by Nanny McPhee Returns director Susanna White, who herself is adapting Weldon’s inspiring tale alongside screenwriter Stephen Locke.
With Chastain’s casting still to be finalized, Woman Walking Ahead is still very much in the early stages of development. Looking further afield, though, the actress can next be seen in fantasy spinoff The Huntsman Winter’s War and John Madden’s gun control drama Miss Sloane.