Watch: Viola Davis and the “Widows” Cast Talk Gender, Politics, and Crime in Female-Led Thriller

The Steve McQueen-directed film hits theaters November 16.

Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and co-writer Gillian Flynn’s (Gone Girl) Widows, is an edge-of-your-seat thriller where four women attempt a heist after their criminal husbands are killed.

Though critics and moviegoers are talking about the film, led by Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Carrie Coon, in the context of the #MeToo era, it’s based on an 1980s British TV drama written by Lynda La Plante that McQueen says resonated with him as a kid.

“I saw this TV program and I was just glued to it because there were these women going for the same thing as I was and were judged by their appearance and deemed as not being capable,” McQueen told NewNowNext. “Steve had come to this before the #MeToo movement had surfaced,” added Erivo. “We were already involved in trying in trying to tell a story that meant women could be at the forefront of something and be themselves and be unapologetic about it.”

An enlightening theme for Rodriguez is the film’s depiction of the different motivations that can drive men and women to crime.

“The eye-opener for me was being able to see the intention of women,” the actress said. “…the division of men on the quest for power and women on the quest for survival and seeing the difference in intention.”

Widows, out November 16, also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas, and Brian Tyree Henry.

Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie and pop diva addict living in Manhattan. Follow him on everything @dirrtykingofpop.