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Viola Davis to Star in Steve McQueen Heist Thriller ‘Widows’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Viola Davis will star in Steve McQueen’s upcoming heist thriller “Widows” for New Regency.

“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 get 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 Kings Speech.” Film 4 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.” McQueen has since been working on the HBO limited series “Codes of Conduct.”

HBO recently shelved “Codes of Conduct,” allowing McQueen to focus all his energy on “Widows.” Insiders said Jennifer Lawrence was also approached to play one of the four leads, but scheduling conflicts forced her to pass on the pic.

Davis, star of ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” has been busy balancing her TV and film schedule in the past year. Davis was recently seen as Amanda Waller in Warner Bros.’ “Suicide Squad,” and is expected to be in Oscar conversation for her upcoming performance in “Fences,” a part she already won a Tony for on Broadway.

Davis is represented by CAA, Lasher Group, and Michael Adler. McQueen is represented by CAA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates in the U.K.

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