Zhao is writing and will direct the pic, which will follow Reeves’ journey as a young man born into slavery in 1838 who fled to the Indian Territory in search of freedom and went on to become one of the greatest lawmen of the American West.
Zhao made her directorial debut with the film Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which was produced by Forest Whitaker and debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Her follow-up feature, The Rider, premiered at Cannes and won the Art Cinema Award. In addition, the film earned her a nom for Best Feature and Best Director at this year’s Independent Spirit Award, where she also picked up the Bonnie Award for innovative vision and breakthrough work of female directors.
The Rider was released in limited theaters last weekend via Sony Pictures Classics.
Zhao is repped by WME and Lichter Grossman.