Two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand is set to co-produce and star in a movie version of Miriam Toews’ Kirkus-starred 2019 novel, Women Talking, according to Deadline. Sarah Polley, who previously wrote the 2017 Netflix miniseries of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace, will write and direct the adaptation. McDormand’s role in the film was not announced.
In the novel, a group of women in a fundamentalist Mennonite colony in South America have two days of discussions to address the fact that men of the colony have been repeatedly drugging and raping many of them over a period of years. The conversation “encompasses all the big questions of Christian theology and Western philosophy,” according to Kirkus’ reviewer, who called the novel “an exquisite critique of patriarchal culture” that’s “stunningly original and altogether arresting.”
A movie based on Toews’ previous novel—2014’s All My Puny Sorrows, which also received a Kirkus Star—recently went into production in Ontario, starring Alias Grace’s Sarah Gadon and The Newsroom’s Alison Pill.
McDormand is currently starring in the film Nomadland, which premiered in theaters on Dec. 4 and is based on Jessica Bruder’s Kirkus-starred 2017 nonfiction book. Polley first gained recognition as an actor for an early role in the 1997 film The Sweet Hereafter, based on the novel by Russell Banks. She received an Oscar nomination for her screenplay for 2006’s Away From Her, which she directed; it was based on Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” in the 2001 collection, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.