‘The Color Purple’ Actress Cynthia Erivo Joins Viola Davis in Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’

Justin Kroll
Variety

Cynthia Erivo, who won a Tony Award for her performance in “The Color Purple” on Broadway, has joined Viola Davis in New Regency’s heist thriller “Widows,” directed by Steve McQueen.

“Gone Girl” screenwriter and novelist Gillian Flynn is on board to pen the script with McQueen.

Based on the 1983 British miniseries about a caper gone wrong, the story follows four armed robbers who are killed in a failed heist attempt, leaving their widows to finish the job.

The film will be produced by McQueen, and Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films, who teamed with McQueen on “Shame” and also produced the best picture Oscar-winner “The King’s Speech.” Film4 is co-financing with New Regency.

The movie marks McQueen’s first feature since winning the best picture Academy Award for “12 Years a Slave” in 2014. McQueen has since been working on the HBO limited series “Codes of Conduct.” HBO recently shelved “Codes of Conduct,” allowing McQueen to focus his energy on “Widows.”

Following her award-winning performance in “The Color Purple,” Erivo’s profile has risen, and sources say McQueen had always had an eye on her for the film. This would mark her largest film role to do, though she did appear in a recurring role on PBS’ “Mr. Selfridge.”

She is repped by UTA, Authentic, and Claire Hoath Management, and Peikoff/Mahan in the UK.

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