Both the untitled Men in Black spinoff and Doctor Sleep adaptation have cast Rebecca Ferguson in key roles. The Swedish actor is fresh off reprising her star-making turn as MI6 agent Ilsa Faust from 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in this year’s even more widely celebrated installment, Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton, Fate of the Furious) is directing the Men in Black spinoff, which takes place in the same universe as the previous entries in the comic book-inspired property, but focuses on a different pair of MIB agents played by Thor: Ragnarok costars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Meanwhile, Doctor Sleep is a big screen take on Stephen King’s The Shining sequel novel and serves as director Mike Flanagan’s second adaptation of King’s work following his acclaimed Netflix feature, Gerald’s Game. Ferguson entered talks to play Doctor Sleep’s villain around the end of June, but has now closed her deal for the horror/thriller.
According to Deadline, Ferguson closed her separate deals with Sony on the Men in Black revival and Warner Bros. for Doctor Sleep near the same time. However, somewhat confusingly, the site refers to Ferguson being cast as “the” female lead in the Men in Black spinoff. It’s long been reported that Thompson and Hemsworth will share headlining duties on the sci-fi action/comedy and the pair has already been spotted on the film’s set. Thus, it stands to reason that while Ferguson has a leading role in the movie, she won’t be serving as the co-protagonist in Thompson’s place.
Ferguson will costar in Doctor Sleep as the wicked Rose the Hat, the leader of The True Knot: a twisted cult that preys on those who “shine”. Ewan McGregor stars in the film as the 40-something Danny Torrance, who is forced to confront his traumatic past when he tries to help a teenaged girl being hunted by The True Knot for her own “shining” abilities. It’s certainly possible that Ferguson is playing a villain in the Men in Black spinoff too, but Deadline’s report doesn’t offer any real evidence that’s either in favor or against the idea.
The news that Ferguson has joined two buzzed-about upcoming projects is far from surprising, seeing as her star is very much on the up and up right now. Both the Men in Black spinoff and Doctor Sleep likewise continue to impress, when it comes to the acting talent and creatives they’ve assembled so far. The latter is expected to be a one-off horror movie (regardless of how successful it proves to be), but should the former become a box office hit, that will give Ferguson two big (and very different) ongoing franchises under her belt, including the Mission: Impossible films.