We see so many interchangeable spy movies get made every year that the news there’s another one on the docket generally gets glossed over with little attention paid to it. But put Darren Aronofsky’s name down as director next to pretty much any prospective film project, and suddenly it becomes something everyone is interested in. He’s just that good.
This seems to be exactly what’s happening with a new project Fox is putting together called Red Sparrow. An adaptation of a spy novel of the same name by author Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow at first sounds like one of a million similar spy novels that are probably in some stage of development to become Hollywood movies right now, but with a report from Deadline that Aronofsky has just entered early negotiations to make it his followup to Noah, suddenly it becomes something to keep an eye on. Suddenly it’s not just another spy novel being made into a movie, it’s the next Darren Aronofsky movie.
So, seeing as it could possibly be the thing that takes up the attention of one of our favorite filmmakers for the next couple years or so, what exactly is Red Sparrow about? The Amazon description of Matthews’ novel describes it by saying:
“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, trade craft, 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.”
Because another brief blurb about this deal out of Variety describes the Dominika character as a “Russian ballerina turned spy,” chances are Aronofsky would have to cast an actress with experience in both dancing and kicking ass on camera in the role, so obviously Summer Glau is the gal with the acting chops and skill set necessary to pull that one off. What beefy young actor would be good for the CIA agent role and would be interesting to see get directed by a top-notch talent like Aronofsky though? It doesn’t seem like Chris Pine has anything huge lined up after his upcoming turn as Jack Ryan. Would he be good, or would they be better off just going with one of those Australian guys? Maybe they could give it to Jai Courtney, to pay him back for having to be in that fifth Die Hard movie?
Either way, it feels like we just did half of Aronofsky’s work for him right there already. Now he’s basically got no reason not to sign up and make this one official. Let the location scouting begin.