'Women Talking': Frances McDormand To Star In Drama For Director Sarah Polley

Frances McDormand (Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri) has lined up her newest starring role – and it sounds like it could be a pretty harrowing one.

McDormand is set to star in Women Talking, the latest film from Away From Her and Stories We Tell director Sarah Polley. The movie is about a group of women who live in a colony and attempt to keep their faith after the men of the colony commit multiple sexual assaults.

Deadline reports that McDormand will star in and produce Women Talking, which is based on author Miriam Toews' best-selling novel. The book "follows a group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a series of sexual assaults committed by the colony's men," which sounds like a perfect way to address the #MeToo movement and the way our culture has all-too-often swept men's bad behavior under the rug while women are left to suffer the physical and emotional consequences. The book was published in 2018 in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and earned acclaim from outlets such as The New York Times, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Polley was an actress who appeared in movies like Doug Liman's Go and Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead before transitioning into a writer and director. She earned an Oscar nomination for her first feature screenplay (Away From Her) and made the 2012 documentary Stories We Tell, which was warmly received and ended up on several critics' end of the year lists. Polley will write and direct Women Talking, which will be her first feature film in almost a decade.

McDormand, one of the best actors of her generation, will next be seen in Chloé Zhao's quiet, moving drama Nomadland (which may end up netting her a third Academy Award).

MGM's Orion Pictures will produce the film with Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner's Plan B Entertainment production company, which was responsible for movies like The Departed, 12 Years a Slave, Moonlight, Selma, The Tree of Life, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and many more. Despite producing the occasional whiff (Jon Stewart's Irresistible and Kick-Ass 2 come to mind), they have a pretty strong overall track record. McDormand was the one who purchased the rights and brought the project to Plan B.

While a production start date has not been settled on yet, the movie is ultimately expected to be released theatrically through MGM's United Artists Releasing branch.