It’s interesting to note that I first came across Joel Edgerton in the brilliant Australian crime epic Animal Kingdom, which was adapted into a quite-good TNT series this year without Edgerton or co-stars Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver. Years later, Edgerton is one of the more popular “everyman” character actors working today, with roles in both good movies (Warrior, The Gift) and uniquely bad (The Great Gatsby, Exodus: Gods and Kings). 2016 will see him in three movies total – Jane Got a Gun, Midnight Special, and Loving – and he’s set to co-star with Will Smith in David Ayer‘s Bright, Netflix’s most ambitious production to date. And now, as Deadline reports, he’s in early talks to join the inimitable Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow, an espionage thriller set to be directed by Lawrence’s The Hunger Games helmer Francis Lawrence.
The film is an adaptation of Jason Matthews‘ novel of the same name and there’s pretty clear evidence that this would be the presumed beginning of a franchise. Lawrence’s character, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova, also appears in at least one other Matthews’ novel, Palace of Treason. There’s no hint as to who Edgerton will be playing, though the only other major character would be a CIA operative named Nathaniel Nash; then again, Edgerton could just play a Russian honcho toiling under Putin. Regardless, on the merits of seeing Lawrence and…Lawrence working together outside of The Hunger Games alone, this is definitely a project of interest to me.
Here’s the book synopsis via Amazon:
State intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and, inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s most valuable mole in Moscow. Seeking revenge against her soulless masters, Dominika begins a fateful double life, recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington; hunt down a Russian illegal buried deep in the US military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Putin’s intelligence service. Dominika and Nathaniel’s impossible love affair and twisted spy game come to a deadly conclusion in the shocking climax of this electrifying, up-to-the minute spy thriller.