When 20th Century Studios shared the first trailer to The Woman in the Widow, fans of the thriller genre and ardent Amy Adams supporters alike were excited to see what fate awaited the skittish protagonist. Now, after more than a year of being in limbo, the fast-paced psychological thriller will finally be released for their viewing pleasure on Netflix.
The Joe Wright film, an adaptation of the A.J. Finn (real name Dan Mallory) novel of the same name, stars Adams as main character Dr. Anna Fox. Confined to her home because of her intense fear of going outside, Dr. Fox’s daily routine of people watching takes a dangerous turn when she witnesses her neighbour (Julianne Moore) being brutally attacked and murder. What follows is a frightening series of events, pushing the doctor to the limits of her own sanity as she races against the clock to discover the truth behind the grisly scene.
Interestingly enough, the high-stakes drama adaptation of the film pales in comparison to the firestorm surrounding the author of the book. Mallory, who made his literary debut with the New York Times best-seller in 2018, was at the center of a massive controversy because he had essentially fictionalised his entire biography. He told the world, among other things, that he was Oxford-educated (he was not) and that his mother had died of cancer (she’s still alive). The revelation of his many lies stunned the literary community, but it didn’t keep Mallory from moving up in the publishing world; he sold the rights to his debut novel in a two-book, two-million-dollar deal with 20th Century Studios.
The Woman in the Window was initially set to be released in late 2019, but several factors delayed its premiere for more than a year. Early test screenings of the film led to multiple reshoots; Wright revealed to EW that the script had to be reworked for because test audiences initially found the plot “confusing” and "too opaque” to follow. By the time that shoots were completed, the coronavirus pandemic was already in full swing, forcing the studio to push the movie back a few more months so that it could possibly be released in cinemas when the world was safer again. In August 2020, Netflix showed interest in acquiring the title, and the streaming platform came to an agreement with 20th Century Studios that will see The Woman in the Window being released for subscribers to watch from the comfort of their homes. The film will premiere in the first half of 2021.
"I'm very interested to see how people respond to the film and I can't wait for its release," Wright told EW. "What I hope people will take away from this is a sense that our own fears can incarcerate us. And this is a story about a woman who manages to overcome her own fears, and leave them behind her."