Nicole Kidman's surprising next project revealed

Nicole Kidman, surfing a wave of almost universally positive notices for her work on Big Little Lies and Top of the Lake: China Girl, has signed on to star in a new crime thriller Destroyer.

Kidman will play a Los Angeles detective whose past undercover work with a cult-like gang in the California desert comes full circle when the leader of the gang returns.

The film will be directed by Karyn Kusama, an indie director best known for the film Girlfight, from a script by Ride Along's Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.

The film's producer Fred Berger told US media that Kidman was "at the top of her game, doing tremendously exciting work."

Though she has worked primarily in film for most of her career, Kidman's second act has come off the back of two television projects, HBO's Big Little Lies and Foxtel's Top of the Lake.

The first of those two projects, in which she played Celeste Wright, a woman who hides from her friends the bruises of an abusive husband, recently won the 50-year-old actress an Emmy award.

It also won her wide acclaim from critics around the world.

"Kidman, as Celeste, emerged as the real showstopper," Jia Tolentino wrote in The New Yorker, in a review which echoes a widely shared sentiment.

"She has the most ambitious narrative arc in the series, [and] the widest gap between appearance and truth."

Berger said the combination of Kidman, Kusama, Hay and Manfredi was compelling.

"Phil and Matt have written one of the most compelling screenplays I've ever read and Karyn is one of the most assured voices working today," he said. "It's a powerful combination."

Kidman has also just published an essay in Porter magazine, the print spin-off to the website Net-a-Porter, exploring the violence and fundamental inequalities faced by women.

"Each of us, in ways big or small, will come across challenges, often arising out of the fact that we are women still in an unequal world," Kidman wrote.

"It has happened to me; I am sure it has to you. In those moments, I like to think of those who had my back, who lifted me up and encouraged me to believe in myself."

This story Nicole Kidman's surprising next project revealed first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.