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Daniel Espinosa To Direct Former Ridley Scott Project 'Child 44'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
August 28, 2012 6:39 PM
3 Comments
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Earlier this year, we took a look at a handful of directors who are attached to a zillion projects, and one of those folks was Ridley Scott. One of the movies on his slate was "Child 44," and among the plethora of options he currently has, we figured the chances of him actually getting behind the camera on this (which he signed on for way back in 2007) at about 8/1 and for those you betting at home, you can now take it off his list. Another name is stepping in, and it's an exciting one.

"Snabba Cash" and "Safe House" helmer Daniel Espinosa is in early talks to take the reins, with Scott Free producing (of course), and the project now set up over at Summit. Based on the book by Tom Rob Smith and adapted by the excellent Richard Price ("The Wire," "Clockers"), the Cold War-era tale follows a disgraced MGB agent in the Stalin-era Soviet Union investigating a prolific child murderer who may have connections going to the very top of the party leadership. The story is based on the true account of the Rostov Ripper, a Ukranian serial killer who was executed for committing over 50 murders.

The book is the first in a trilogy (franchise!), but there's no green light yet. That said, Deadline feels "like this one’s finally going to happen" so we guess this means the yakuza crime flick Espinosa signed on to in the spring, "The Outsider," is on the backburner for now. Either way, another opportunity for Espinosa to flex his muscles is fine by us. Even if "Safe House" was a bit too by-the-numbers, Espinosa showed he's got energy and flair to spare, and this seems like an intriguing project attuned to his talents.

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3 Comments

  • James | August 29, 2012 6:13 AMReply

    At least this one has characters and a story which sadly, cannot be said for Safe House, a film that was boring in all the worst ways. Espinosa's got talent though, and having read the book this feels like the perfect vehicle for him - frenetic and massively plot driven, but with enough character depth and therefore real drama to sustain a story (not just car chase, foot chase, BANG BANG BANG, foot chase, car chase, BANG BANG BANG, rinse repeat).

  • Lou | August 29, 2012 8:20 AM

    Umm… It was not only bang, bang, bang. Shall we say that Safe House was definitely 'European' in approach? Less sleek than Bourne movies (and, thank god, less time spent on telephone conversations concerning multiple, convoluted machinations), excellent acting by everyone involved, splendid photography and music score (I was very impressed by the latter) and credible fighting scenes. Even the shaky camera was reminiscent of neo-realism. To illustrate my point: the sound of flies in the last safe house is a refined touch. It was an action movie, not pretending to be anything else, and I think Espinosa did an eminent job.

  • Real | August 28, 2012 7:11 PMReply

    Glad to hear this is finally moving again. Thought the first novel was compelling and very cinematic. Wasn't keen on the sequel though.

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