Netflix has won the bidding war for Reese Witherspoon‘s upcoming sci-fi thriller ‘Pyros’, based on the short story “Tardy Man” by Thomas Pierce. Witherspoon will star as well as produce with the ‘X-Men’ franchise’s Simon Kinberg. Witherspoon currently stars in the HBO series ‘Big Little Lies’ and is set to star in and executive produce ‘Morning Show’ for Apple TV+. She is also currently filming the miniseries ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ for Hulu, so if she keeps going, she might soon have a project going at each streaming service.
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.
Netflix reportedly beat out six competing studios, including Sony for this project. Pierce is adapting the screenplay himself. The male lead character is being gender-swapped to accommodate Witherspoon. Another of Pierce’s short stories for The New Yorker, “Chairman Spaceman” is in development at Fox Searchlight, and Kinberg is attached to produce that one as well.
Witherspoon is producing through her Hello Sunshine banner, along with her colleague Lauren Neustadter and Genre Films’ Audrey Chon.
In addition to her various TV shows, Witherspoon is attached to film ‘Legally Blonde 3’, so it remains to be seen when production on ‘Pyros’ will begin. It sounds as though Pierce is still working on the script and no director has been named, so it may be some time before this film arrives.
As for Kinberg, not only did he direct ‘Dark Phoenix‘, he has long been affiliated with the ‘X-Men’ brand, and has worked on a number of successful science fiction films including ‘Elysium’, ‘Chappie’, ‘The Martian’, as well as the recent CBS All Access ‘Twilight Zone’ reboot.
Check back for updates on ‘Pyros’ as they emerge.