While director Darren Aronofsky is currently knee-deep in post-production on his 2014 Biblical epic Noah, it appears that the filmmaker is ready to start looking for his next film. Deadline reports that Aronofsky is in early talks to develop an adaptation of the Jason Matthews novel Red Sparrow to direct. The female-led espionage tale takes place in contemporary Russia and centers on a state intelligence officer named Dominika Egorova who is assigned against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service. During her first assignment, Dominika strikes up a relationship with her mark, a CIA officer named Nathaniel Nash, and “in a charged atmosphere of trade craft, deception, and inevitably, a sexual attraction threatens their careers and the security of America’s most valuable mole in Moscow.”
Hit the jump for more on what could potentially be Aronofsky’s next film.
The story of Red Sparrow is certainly something more along the lines of a commercial film for the Black Swan director, but it comes tinged with the darkness and sexuality that he has so skillfully explored in his previous efforts. 20th Century Fox is backing the film with Steven Zaillian and Garret Basch onboard to produce.
Deadline’s report notes that Aronofsky is also interested in a George Washington project and he is only in “early talks” to “develop to direct” the spy thriller, so it’s possible that Red Sparrow could go into the development pipeline for Aronofsky while he chooses something more camera-ready as his Noah follow-up. Either way, I’m intrigued by the prospect of Aronofsky bringing his sensibilities to the spy world.
Read the synopsis for Matthews’ Red Sparrow below:
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. [Amazon]