EXCLUSIVE: Christopher McQuarrie is back steering the feature adaptation of the celebrated UK miniseries Unforgiven. He has signed on to write, direct and produce alongside Graham King, whose GK Films has tried for several years to turn the mini into a film and got McQuarrie to return.
Unforgiven is a drama-thriller about the intrigue and violence that unfolds when a woman completes a 15-year prison stretch for the murder of two policemen who’d come to evict her family from their farmhouse. Her hope is to live quietly and reunite with her troubled younger sister, but she unwittingly becomes a target for revenge. Suranne Jones played the lead in the mini, which was written by Sally Wainwright and directed by David Evans. McQuarrie was originally going to write the project after King bought it in 2010, and he was going to write it as a potential star vehicle for Angelina Jolie. He left to direct Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher. While McQuarrie is expected to next direct Cruise in Mission: Impossible 5, Unforgiven has again become a priority project for him. McQuarrie separately scripted Cruise’s next film at Warner Bros, All You Need Is Kill. He won the Oscar for scripting The Usual Suspects.
Colin Vaines and Ken Kamins will be exec producers alongside Nicola Shindler of Red Production Company and Wainwright of Sparkhouse Productions. Wainwright was also executive producer of the original mini, which won a British Royal Television Society award for Best Drama Serial in 2009 and a nomination for Jones as lead actress. King is separately in pre-production on the Clint Eastwood-directed adaptation of the smash hit stage show Jersey Boys, and also he’s developing the movie on iconic Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury. That film has had Sacha Baron Cohen circling the role of Mercury, and I’ve heard that Les Miserables helmer Tom Hooper is also circling, but I’m told nothing is set. McQuarrie is repped by CAA, Key Creatives and attorney David Fox.