Back in September, we brought you news that Oscar winning British director, Steve McQueen (director) (12 Years A Slave, 2013), had wooed Viola Davis onto his big screen, USA-set adaptation of Widows, the 1983 mini-series about 3 white widows of 3 crime bosses killed during a robbery attempt. Dolly Rawlins (Ann Mitchell), Shirley Miller (Fiona Hendley), and Linda Perelli (Maureen O’Farrell), pressured by the police and a potential hostile take over by a rival group, team up and bring on a 4th woman, Bella O’Reilly (blacktress Eva Mottley), to pull off a heist of their own and eliminate both problems.
Our very own Cynthia Erivo, lately of the Tony-winning The Color Purple Musical as Celie Johnson, was confirmed as joining the Widows cast in an as-yet unidentified role that will mark her feature film debut!
Back in 1983 the nation was gripped by the original Lynda La Plante penned mini-series which was essential viewing over its 2 series and 12 episodes. EVERYone was talking about ‘Harry’s ledgers’ and viewing figures increased week to week. There had been nothing like it before on British TV! It was followed by a 2002 US TV remake for with a significantly changed plot, replacing armed robbery with theft of a famous painting with a more ethnicised cast: Mercedes Ruehl played Dolly, Brooke Shields played Shirley, Rosie Perez played Linda Perelli, and N’Bushe Wright played Bella.
We felt that Viola Davis (Suicide Squad, How to Get Away With Murder) MUST play Dolly Rawlings – the boss widow. Erivo could be Bella….
McQueen will shoot from a script by Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), and Film 4 is co-financing with New Regency. He will also co-produce.
Episodes of the original series can be found in full on YouTube.
Watch this space!