Viola Davis to Star in Steve McQueen's Heist Film 'Widows'

Steve McQueen and Viola Davis-Getty-H 2016
Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images; Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The director and Gillian Flynn are co-writing the crime thriller about four women who team up to complete a heist.

Viola Davis will star in Steve McQueen's heist thriller Widows.

McQueen and Gone Girl author-screenwriter Gillian Flynn co-wrote the script for the New Regency project, which centers on four women who team up to complete a heist. The story, based on the 1980s British TV series, starts out with a group of armed robbers being killed during a robbery. Their widows then decide to finish the job their spouses started.

The project has been in the works for some time now: McQueen first attached to the project after winning the Oscar for best picture for 12 Years a Slave in 2014. Widows will be his first feature film since helming the slave drama that won three Oscars, including the nod for best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o.

The heist thriller will be a bit of a departure for McQueen, known for his heavy dramas like 12 Years a Slave, Shame and Hunger, but McQueen has been a fan of the British TV series and its female empowerment story since he watched the show in his youth. The film adaptation will be contemporary and set in a U.S. city. The script calls for four female leads: two black, one white and one Latina. 

Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, who won a best-picture Oscar for The King's Speech, are producing alongside McQueen. Film4 is co-financing with New Regency.

Davis stars on the hit ABC series How to Get Away With Murder, and won the Primetime Emmy in 2015 for her work on the show. She will next be seen in Warner Bros. supervillain ensemble film Suicide Squad in August. She also will star opposite Denzel Washington in Fences, which Washington also is directing. She’s repped by CAA, Lasher Group and Lichter, Grossman.