‘Dark Phoenix’ was Simon Kinberg‘s directorial debut, and it was not a great start to that phase of his career. But he may recover by returning to producing. He has joined forces to produce a sci-fi film ‘Pyros’ with Reese Witherspoon, who will also star. The film is an adaptation of Thomas Pierce’s short story “Tardy Man,” which was originally published in The New Yorker in 2018. There is currently a bidding war among studios to claim the rights to this project.
Tardy Man deals with a group of augmented people who are fitted with indestructible fire suits that are fused to their spines. They work for a corporation that recovers objects for wealthy people when their houses are burning. It is strictly forbidden for them to veer from their salvage missions, even when other humans are in danger. The protagonist decides to make an exception to this rule and that is the jumping-off point.
Pierce’s short story featured a male protagonist, which will be gender-swapped with Witherspoon in that role.
Kinberg has a lengthy and successful history with science fiction, writing and producing such projects as the ‘X-Men’ movie and TV franchises, ‘Elysium’, ‘Chappie’, ‘The Martian’, and CBS All Access’ recent ‘Twilight Zone’ reboot. Kinberg is currently directing a spy thriller, ‘355’ with his ‘Dark Phoenix’ star Jessica Chastain. Kinberg previously wrote the screenplay for Witherspoon’s action-comedy ‘This Means War’, which was directed by McG and co-starred Chris Pine and Tom Hardy.
Witherspoon co-stars on HBO’s acclaimed ‘Big Little Lies’, and on Apple’s upcoming original series ‘The Morning Show’ with Jennifer Anniston, Steve Carell, and her ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ co-star Gugu Mbatha-Raw. She is currently filming the Hulu miniseries ‘Little Fires Everywhere’. She is attached to star in ‘Legally Blonde 3’ which is in pre-production and is scheduled to be released on May 8, 2020, so she will likely film that next, before starting work on ‘Pyros’.
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