Daniel Espinosa, who made some waves with the success of February’s action-thriller Safe House starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, might have found his next project. Deadline reports the Swedish director (yes, he’s Swedish) is in early talks with Liongsate/Summit to helm Child 44, an adaptation of Tom Rob Smith’s novel.
Child 44 very much follows in line with the growing trend of foreign-set crime thrillers being made into films. Based on the true crimes of the serial killer known as the Rostov Ripper, the story centers on a “disgraced lawman” in Soviet Russia under Stalin who’s assigned to a series of child murders. Sound a bit like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Did I mention this is the first of a trilogy?
The project was initially set up at 20th Century Fox with Ridley Scott attached to produce and direct a script from Robert Price (HBO’s The Wire). Scott Free will still produce, even with the film now at Lionsgate/Summit.
Espinosa has also considered directing Yakuza crime drama The Outsider, which has Michael Fassbender attached, as well as an adaptation of the controversial James Frey novel A Million Little Pieces. Hollywood put the latter film on the back burner though when Frey admitted to a significant amount of embellishments in his supposedly true story about falling into and recovering from drug addiction. So, between the two, it’s likely that The Outsider will get off the ground first.
Chid 44 does not have the green light yet, but Deadline iterates that Lionsgate/Summit want to get the film into production early next year, so despite the other attachments, it seems likely this would be Espinosa’s next film.
We’ll keep you posted when we hear more.