Hollywood directors are notorious flirts when it comes to picking projects, and spy thriller Red Sparrow has been the belle of the ball for some time. Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky was at one point eyeing the pic as his follow-up to Biblical epic Noah, and David Fincher considered coming aboard in hopes of reuniting with his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lead Rooney Mara (who walked when Fincher did). Now, Francis Lawrence, who’ll finally be done directing Lionsgate’s Hunger Games films this fall, is in the mix to take the reins.
Lawrence is accustomed to swimming in blockbuster waters, albeit without the same consistent praise Aronofsky and Fincher have received throughout their careers. Outside of The Hunger Games quadrilogy (of which he directed three), Lawrence has helmed I Am Legend, Constantine and Water for Elephants, as well as episodes of short-lived series Kings and Touch. Still, working on The Hunger Games franchise has made Lawrence a big name, and his involvement would no doubt attract some top-tier talent. That American Hustle scribe Eric Warren Singer adapted Red Sparrow from Jason Matthews’ novel only helps matters.
Here’s the official synopsis:
In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.
As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.
Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights, terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters”. Packed with insider detail, this novel brims with Matthews’s life experience of espionage, counterintelligence, spy recruitment, and cyber-warfare. Brilliantly composed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.
With Lawrence being eyed to direct, it seems Red Sparrow may end up as more of a blockbuster venture than Aronofsky and Fincher’s interest had suggested. The story seems both topical and tense, so it’s definitely still one to keep an eye on.
Source: The Playlist