Fresh off his villainous turn as Dr. Sivana in DC’s Shazam!, Mark Strong is in talks to join Shailene Woodley in FilmNation’s serial killer thriller Misanthrope, Collider has exclusively learned.
Damián Szifron (Wild Tales) is directing from a script he co-wrote with Jonathan Wakeham, based on an original story by the director. Woodley will play a talented but troubled cop who is recruited by the FBI to help profile and track down a murderer. Strong is making a deal to play the head of the FBI’s Atlanta field office who serves as her mentor.
FilmNation is backing the project, which is being produced by Aaron Ryder, Stuart Manashil and Woodley. The company pre-sold Misanthrope throughout the world, including China, at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Woodley promised a film that “will have a profound impact on cinema and will resonate with audiences, especially given the times we are living in right now.”
Strong is one of Hollywood’s very best character actors, and his performances are always imbued with a certain intensity and authority. Strong has been acting since the early ’90s but he didn’t become a fixture in studio movies until the mid-aughts, when he worked with directors like Matthew Vaughn, Danny Boyle, Ridley Scott, and most importantly, Guy Ritchie, who cast Strong as Lord Blackwood in the blockbuster Sherlock Holmes after working with him on Revolver and RocknRolla. Since then, he has played crime boss Frank D’Amico in Kick-Ass, Sinestro in Green Lantern, and Merlin in the Kingsman movies. His prestige credits also include Zero Dark Thirty, The Imitation Game and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Strong will soon be seen in Universal’s awards contender 1917 from director Sam Mendes, and he’s also set to co-star in Disney’s Cruella alongside Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. He’s represented by WME and Markham, Froggatt and Irwin.