EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne are in advanced negotiations to star in The Good Nurse, a thriller based on the book by Charles Graeber and scripted by Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Tobias Lindholm is set to make his English-language feature directing debut. BRON Studios, run by Aaron L. Gilbert, has come aboard to finance and will release through Lionsgate. Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa is producing as well.
The pic tells the true story of the pursuit and capture of Charlie Cullen, a nurse who is regarded as one of the most prolific serial killers in history. Now called “Angel of Death,” Cullen was a married father who was thought to be a responsible caretaker, but his secret compulsion to take life led to his implication in the deaths of as many as 300 patients over 16 years, spread across nine hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Redmayne will play Cullen, who was caught by two former Newark homicide detectives who wouldn’t let go, aided by a nurse who worked alongside Cullen and risked her job and family’s safety to stop him. Chastain will play the nurse whose dogged pursuit helped end the killing spree.
It shows the versatility of Redmayne, the Oscar-winning star who most recently has been playing Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts series of films that spun off Harry Potter. He is separately poised to reteam with his Theory of Everything costar Felicity Jones in The Aeronauts. Redmayne is repped by CAA, United Agents, and attorney Karl Austen.
Chastain most recently shot X-Men: Dark Phoenix and is starring in It: Chapter Two. She also was the catalyst for the female spy thriller 355, on which Universal acquired U.S. rights to a FilmNation-constructed pic which was the hottest project at Cannes last May. Simon Kingberg will direct Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Lupita Nyong’o, and Bingbing Fan. Chastain’s repped by CAA and Mosaic.
Lindholm is the Danish writer-director whose 2015 film A War (Krigen), about a Danish military company captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, was Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. His other films include the hostage drama A Hijacking, Submarino and R, and he is acclaimed for his work on the TV drama Borgen and for teaming with Thomas Vinterberg on the script for the Oscar-nominated The Hunt. His films use the workplace to delve into morally complex subject matter, which makes him a strong fit for a thriller set in the caregiver industry.
Wilson-Cairns, a writer on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, is on a hot streak, having also co-authored the script for buzzed-about Sam Mendes World War I movie 1917, which we revealed in June. She is repped by CAA, United Agents and Gang Tyre.