The actress will play the film’s title character, an infamous Midwest crime queen who terrorized a Nebraska town for decades and controlled everything from gambling, prostitution and alcohol to local politicians and police. She was later connected to numerous murders.
Robert Manciero will direct “Annie Cook” from a screenplay by Cameron Keys and Tinker Lindsay (“Hector and the Search for Happiness”). It is based on Nellie Snyder Yost’s biography of Cook, “Evil Obsession.”
“We are excited to launch the film in Cannes with Kelly McGillis in the lead,” said Michael Fister, president of Angel Grace Worldwide, which is handling sales on the project. “This genre is a buyer favorite with its classic thriller elements.”
McGillis received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for her lead role in Peter Weir’s 1986 classic “Witness” and won a Golden Ciak for best actress at the Venice Film Festival a year later for Alan Rudolph’s “Made in Heaven.”
More recently, the actress has been seen in Jim Mickle’s English-language remake of Mexican cannibal horror “We Are What We Are,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and played in Director’s Fortnight at Cannes the same year. It marked her second collaboration with Mickle after 2010 cult hit “Stake Land.”
There have long been rumors of a belated sequel to McGillis’ most famous film, “Top Gun,” in which she starred opposite Tom Cruise. Initial plans were put on hold following the death in 2012 of “Top Gun” director Tony Scott, who was said to be working with Cruise on planning a sequel shortly before his death.