Oscar winner Angelina Jolie is in talks to star in Those Who Wish Me Dead, the next feature from writer-director Taylor Sheridan, the Oscar-nominated scribe behind Hell or High Water and Sicario who went on to make his directing debut with Wind River.
Based on the bestselling novel by Michael Koryta, Those Who Wish Me Dead is described as a hard-boiled chase thriller set against a wildfire in the Montana wilderness. It follows a 14-year-old boy who witnesses a brutal murder and enters a federal protection program that involves teaching him survival skills. Those come in handy when the two killers come after him, with only a few people standing between them and the boy — a couple who run the wilderness survival program, and a woman who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower. The latter role seems best fit for Jolie, but we suppose she could be playing one-half of the couple, or even one of the killers if Sheridan decided to gender-swap one of the two murderous Blackwell brothers.
Creative Wealth Media will finance the indie movie, which is being produced by Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch of Film Rites and Aaron L. Gilbert on behalf of BRON Studios. CWM’s Jason Cloth will serve as executive producer. Production is expected to begin in May once Sheridan wraps the second season of Yellowstone, but of course, that begs the question — what happened to the project Sheridan had been planning with Chris Pratt?
It was only last October that all the trades reported that Pratt was in negotiations to star in a Sheridan thriller with the working title of Fast, in which he would play a former special forces commando who’s recruited by the DEA to lead a black ops strike team targeting drug dealers who are protected by the CIA. David Heyman had been slated to produce for Warner Bros., which had been reluctant to greenlight the $75 million project until Sheridan had attached a bankable star as the lead. Pratt fit the bill and Fast was initially envisioned as another franchise for the Guardians of the Galaxy star.
However, multiple sources have told Collider that Fast hit a snag and has stalled in development, even with Sheridan’s Sicario pal Jon Bernthal circling a key role alongside Pratt. Warner Bros. did not respond to numerous requests for comment.
Jolie has three films in the can awaiting release — Disney’s Maleficent 2 and The One and Only Ivan, both of which she also produced, as well as Brenda Chapman‘s indie Come Away, which serves as a prequel to the stories of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. Jolie is represented by UTA, while Sheridan is repped by CAA and Elevate Entertainment. Deadline broke the news.