While it came as no surprise to hear that Jennifer Lawrence would be taking the lead role in the upcoming thriller Red Sparrow – directed by Hunger Games franchise filmmaker Francis Lawrence – a new, interesting turn of events sees Joel Edgerton circling the position of male lead in that film. The tale is based on the espionage-heavy novel by Jason Matthews, and would see Edgerton engage in high-level drama and seduction with the Academy Award winning actress.
With an initial script by Eric Warren (American Hustle), that has been re-written by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road), the drama begins in modern-day Russia, where Dominika Egorova is introduced as a state intelligence officer. Egorova is unhappy in her career, because she has been strong-armed into the role of “Sparrow” – which is the term used to denote an agent trained as a “seductress.”
In this role, she is tasked to move against a relatively inexperienced CIA officer working to infiltrate the Russian intelligence world. Dominika is eventually recruited by the CIA and becomes a double agent, tasked with uncovering the identity of a Russian mole working at the highest levels of the U.S government, and quickly turns her sights back onto the Russian authorities that crossed her in the past.
Red Sparrow is potentially a huge female-led blockbuster – trading, as it does, on the premise of audience favourite Jennifer Lawrence starring as a “trained seductress.” The possible addition of Joel Edgerton is the thing that elevates this project to must-see status, however, as Edgerton has been quietly delivering excellent work for some time now. The next casting announcements to be made will be key, so we will be watching this space closely.