Jessica Chastain is in talks to star in "Woman Walks Ahead," Susanna White’s upcoming Native American period drama set in the 19th century.
Chastain, a longtime advocate for diversity in the film industry, won’t be portraying an indigenous character — and we’d bet she’d never accept a role that involves whitewashing. (That being said, we’re in dire need of Native American dramas told from the POV of Native American characters.)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the "Zero Dark Thirty" star will play Caroline Weldon, a Brooklyn-based artist and activist who "moved to the Standing Rock Reservation in Dakota Territory to help Sioux chieftain Sitting Bull fight to keep the land for his people. She would write letters to the federal government on behalf of Sitting Bull and eventually lived on the land with her teenage son for several years, even though she was vilified by the press, which called her ‘Sitting Bull’s white squaw.’"
The film is based on a true story. Weldon really did relocate and join Sitting Bull’s cause.
The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t specify whether the script will be wholly original or adapted from another source, but it seems likely that inspiration will be drawn from Eileen Pollack’s 2002 book "Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull."
White has directed episodes of "Generation Kill," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Masters of Sex." She made her directorial feature debut with 2010’s "Nanny McPhee Returns" and helmed the upcoming spy drama "Our Kind of Traitor."
Chastain most recently appeared in "The Martian" and "Crimson Peak."
[via The Hollywood Reporter]