Mary Elizabeth Winstead is joining Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Michael K. Williams and Paz Vega in Michael Cuesta's "Kill The Messenger." Based on a true story, the film will depict the struggle of investigative journalist Gary Webb, who suffered a smear campaign in the late '90s/early '00s after uncovering how the CIA backed the 1980s Contra rebellion in Nicaragua by allowing the smuggling and distribution of Nicaraguan crack cocaine in California. Gary Webb lost his job after exposing this scheme, fell into depression and eventually committed suicide in 2004. He will be played by Jeremy Renner while Winstead will act as the editor of the San Jose Mercury News, the newspaper where Gary Webb published his contentious articles. The release is set for 2014.
Winstead has been keeping herself busy with several other projects. Last month she joined Logan Marshall-Green and Stellan Skarsgard for the pilot episode of the upcoming Cinemax cable show "Quarry" to be helmed by John Hillcoat and based upon a pulp novel series written by Max Allan Collins ("Road to Perdition"). And two weeks ago it was reported that she will be playing the lead role in two indie directorial debuts: one for actor-turned-director Chris Messina and another for her husband Riley Stearns. All of these projects are due in 2014.
Meanwhile, after playing opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's upcoming "The Wolf of Wall Street," Margot Robbie is now slated for the female lead in "Focus" alongside Will Smith. This has been a long-gestating project by "Crazy, Stupid, Love" helmers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. Several A-list actors (Ryan Gosling, Ben Affleck) have been involved at one point or another before dropping out, and Warner Bros. is now fast-tracking this movie into production before someone changes its mind. If the rumours are right, Margot Robbie will be playing an "inexperienced female con artist who teams up with a more seasoned male one" (Smith). No release date has been announced yet. [Deadline/Variety]