For a while, we wondered if Chris Pine would ever be able to escape the shadow of Captain Kirk. Before he starred in J.J. Abrams’ first “Star Trek” film, Pine was mostly known for tween fare like Lindsay Lohan vehicle “Just My Luck” or “The Princess Diaries 2.” Pine proved to be perfect casting in the role that was created by William Shatner, but subsequent starring vehicles didn’t often work: for every “Unstoppable,” there was a “This Means War,” or a “Rise Of The Guardians,” or a “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” or a “Horrible Bosses 2.”
But Pine’s been having a better run of it recently. Sure, “Star Trek Beyond” underperformed, and no one saw “The Finest Hours,” but he impressed a lot of doubters with a scene-stealing performance in “Into The Woods” (showing a comic side that he’ll do more of on SNL this weekend), gave a mature and impressive turn in Oscar-nominee “Hell Or High Water,” and has blockbusters “Wonder Woman” and “A Wrinkle In Time” coming up, the latter with one of the hottest filmmakers of the moment, Ava DuVernay.
And to seal his new credibility, it’s just been announced that the actor will be teaming up with an Oscar-winning director and one of the most acclaimed and celebrated actresses of her generation for a new drama/thriller. Variety reports that Pine and four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams will star in “All The Old Knives” for the Mark Gordon Company, with “The Theory Of Everything” helmer James Marsh (who picked up the Best Documentary Academy Award for “Man On Wire”) in talks to direct.
It’s based on a 2015 novel by spy writer Ole Steinhauer (whose book “The Tourist” was being developed for Doug Liman for awhile), and will see Pine and Williams play two former CIA colleagues and lovers who meet in a Northern California town for a catch up, only for conversation to turn to a plane hijacking that ended in the death of all on board, a case they both worked on, and that may have involved a conspiracy that one or both parties were caught up in.
It’s an intriguing premise, and this isn’t the first time that it’s attracted some A-list talent — Kate Winslet and Idris Elba were circling a version that would have been directed by Neil Burger a year ago. We’ll certainly take Pine, Williams and Marsh as substitutes, though. Williams has to shoot Ridley Scott’s “All The Money In The World,” and Pine has a reteam with David Mackenzie on their Netflix Robert The Bruce movie “Outlaw King” in the summer as well, so this would shoot at the end of 2017 at the earliest, but we hope it gets that far for sure.