Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa Faust is the greatest thing to ever happen to the Mission: Impossible franchise, as her British spy without a country could easily command her own franchise - divorced from Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt and the IMF mythos - and it'd arguably be just as compelling as those ensemble action bonanzas. Well, it looks like Hollywood is wising up to Chris McQuarrie's infinite wisdom, as they've cast Ferguson in not just one, but two major roles in hotly anticipated properties.
First up, Ferguson has landed the "lead" in the upcoming Men In Black spin-off, where she'll star opposite Chris Hemsworth*. This is obviously somewhat confusing, as Tessa Thompson had been previously announced (and was even recently photographed on set with Sexy Thor), but THR previously described F. Gary Gray's upcoming sequel as an "ensemble" piece:
"Details are being kept hidden under a New York City ventilation tower, but sources say the new project is more of an ensemble piece than a two-hander and will be more global in scope."
This makes sense, given the fact that Gray's film features Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Les Twins, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, and Emma Thompson as the head of the secret agency. That impressive collection will hit theaters - in tailored suits, sporting weapons and investigating aliens - June 14, 2019.
But wait! There's more! Ferguson has also been signed to play the heavy in Mike Flanagan's upcoming adaptation of Doctor Sleep**, the somewhat divisively received Stephen King sequel to his masterwork, The Shining. In that terrifying tale, Ferguson will portray Rose the Hat, the semi-immortal leader of a tribe of quasi-demonic murderers known as the True Knot. Rose and her followers seek out children with "shining" abilities and torture them to death, feeding off their psychic essence, so that they are able to ostensibly live forever.
Ferguson will show down with Ewan McGregor, who is portraying the forty-something iteration of young Danny Torrance, the clairvoyant child whose father went on a kill-crazy rampage all those years ago at the Overlook Hotel. Flanagan's film is set to be released January 24th, 2020.
As a quick aside, it'll be interesting to see how Doctor Sleep ties into both Stanley Kubrick's seminal horror film, as well as King's novel, as the two are fundamentally different (and his sequel was meant to follow-up his own text, not the movie). After Gerald's Game, we trust Flanagan with any of the horror master's works, because he proved capable of bringing what most thought to be unadapable to the big screen with ease. (To be continued, Constant Readers...)
Back to the matter at hand: it's great to see Ferguson breaking out post Rogue Nation, because she's an incredibly talented performer (who had a supporting role in another huge hit, Hugh Jackman's juggernaut musical The Greatest Showman). Here's to hoping that she continues to grow into one of the biggest stars we've got, as she certainly deserves it.
* UPDATE: Deadline's original reporting had Ferguson role described as the "lead", but they've since corrected their phrasing: the actress will be playing a key role in Men In Black, but not the lead.
**Though, in fairness, this news has been floating around since late June - we're just playing catch-up.