Netflix has purchased the rights to Pyros, an upcoming sci-fi film produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon, a woman with an empire. Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, will produce the film alongside Dark Phoenix (uh-oh) director Simon Kimberg. The news comes shortly after Apple released a first look at the Witherspoon-produced series The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell, and Witherspoon, who apparently does not sleep. She’s also producing Natalie Portman’s upcoming astronaut drama Lucy in the Sky. Madeline Martha Mackenzie gets things done!
Pyros is an adaptation of Thomas Pierce’s “Tardy Man,” a short story published last year in the New Yorker, as part of their summer 2018 “Flash Fiction” series. (Pierce will also be writing the script). Told from a stilted, first person perspective, the tale centers on a corporation that saves wealthy people’s belongings from fires. The employees come from desperate circumstances, and have indestructible “tardy” suits fused to their spines. They’re not allowed to help any innocents trapped in the flames, and are ordered by a frightening boss to only save things owned by people who have contracts with the corporation.
In “Tardy Man,” one employee finds a little boy in the pool of a burning house and makes the dangerous decision to rescue him, running and hiding from the mysterious employers who will likely kill him. “Tardy life—hard life,” writes the story’s narrator. “Nobody dreams of being Tardy Man. Only reason—you’re out of options.”
“You become like robot,” he writes. “Feel like nothing outside Tardy suit is real. But then one day you see child in pool with snorkel and remember. All is very real!”
Witherspoon’s last sci-fi film was Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, though that was for kids and Pyros seems way more adult and, uh, depressing.