Exclusive: Scarlett Johansson Cast In Edgar Wright’s The Chain
Scarlett Johansson will star as a mother trying to recover her abducted child in Edgar Wright's new thriller, The Chain.
Scarlett Johansson will play the lead in Edgar Wright’s upcoming thriller movie The Chain, based on the enormously popular 2020 novel by Northern Irish writer Adrian McKinty. According to our trusted and proven sources, the Black Widow actress will team up for the first time with the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World director, who increasingly seems to be moving away from trademark comedic pastiches and toward straight-forward thrillers. The Chain was optioned by Universal Pictures essentially on publication (per Deadline), so it seems it has taken a few years for it to gain momentum.
The success of a novel can arguably be boiled down to its elevator pitch, and McKinty’s novel certainly has an excellent one. Scarlett Johansson will play Rachel in Edgar Wright’s The Chain, a woman who lives every parent’s nightmare: having her child abducted. However, the awful twist here is that Rachel is soon informed that she is part of “the Chain” and must herself kidnap another child in order to get her own daughter back, entrapping her in a complex criminal organization in which the victims’ parents are turned into kidnapping agents.
To make things worse, Scarlett Johansson’s divorcee character also has cancer, which presumably will add another terrifying level of danger to Edgar Wright’s adaptation of The Chain. Reportedly, Jane Goldman, best known for the Kick-Ass and Kingsman franchises (as well as various installments of the X-Men franchise) will be writing the screenplay.
Scarlett Johansson only recently left the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind (though we have word that she will be returning for several more projects in the future) and has not yet appeared in a live-action film since 2021’s Black Widow. However, if Scarlett Johansson is selecting new projects, she can certainly do worse than Edgar Wright’s The Chain.
Currently, the actress is set to appear in a number of upcoming films, including Wes Anderson’s foray into science fiction Asteroid City, which will also feature a truly staggering ensemble including Anderson regulars like Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, and Tilda Swinton, along with newbies like Tom Hanks and Bryan Cranston. Scarlett Johansson also has several other projects in the works, including a shockingly expensive romantic comedy by Nancy Meyers that may or may not be snapped up by some studio after being booted by Netflix.
For the director’s part, getting Scarlett Johansson to star will do a lot for Edgar Wright’s The Chain. Although the director is best known for his comedic Cornetto Trilogy (as well as the occasional odd McDonald’s commercial), he has been shifting gears in recent years with the crime thriller Baby Driver, a documentary about the cult rock band Sparks, and most recently, the Giallo-homage horror movie Last Night in Soho.
Despite starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie and featuring astonishing practical visual effects, Last Night in Soho bombed at the box office (though it has taken on a bit of a second life on HBO Max). If Edgar Wright is looking for an exciting comeback vehicle, The Chain might just be it.