Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn Team-up for Heist Remake

By  · Published on March 27th, 2015

American Broadcasting Company

If you’re unfamiliar with the 1983 British miniseries Widows, then you’re probably just a regular American. The six-episode program aired on ITV and was very popular, but as far as I can tell wasn’t distributed in the US then nor with its two follow-ups in 1985 and 1995, titled Widows 2 and She’s Out, respectively. You’re probably also unfamiliar with the much-less-successful American remake, which aired on ABC in 2002 and starred Mercedes Ruhl, Brooke Shields, Rosie Perez and N’Bushe Wright.

If both things are true, you’ll have no problem with another remake coming our way, especially given the talent involved. Steve McQueen, whose 12 Years a Slave won the Oscar for Best Picture last year, is directing a feature film version of the story. And he’s co-writing the adaptation with Gone Girl author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn. The movie doesn’t seem to be using the Widows title, or at least isn’t sure to be using the same name at this juncture.

The plot, either way, involves a heist gone wrong, during which three men are killed trying to pull off a job on an armored vehicle (in the US version it’s art theft). Their wives find the plans and decide to attempt the heist themselves, with help from a fourth woman. There’s a twist, of course, and it leads into the second series. I wouldn’t be surprised if McQueen and Flynn combine the first two parts as one. I don’t see McQueen being a sequel guy, though New Regency, the production company on board, might be thinking of franchise potential.

Fynn, who is also involved in a Strangers on a Train remake and has talked about wanting to do a Gone Girl 2, might be more inclined to see the UK version’s narrative through to the end or further. Not that She’s Out, which takes place a decade later and mostly has new characters, has any necessity.

Check out the first episode of the UK version of Widows below.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.