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Darren Aronofsky Flies Toward Spy Flick 'Red Sparrow'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 14, 2013 at 2:07PM

While nerds lament what could have been with "The Wolverine" had Darren Aronofsky directed, contemplate what he might have done with "Man Of Steel" (he was apparently a finalist to helm the movie) and shed a tear for HBO's "Hobgoblin" which the network dropped, it looks like there's some news that doesn't involve him not doing something. With "Noah" presumably heading into its last leg before hitting theaters next spring, the filmmaker seems to be lining up some new gigs and we may get to see Aronofsky take a stab at the spy genre.
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Darren Aronofsky Red Sparrow

While nerds lament what could have been with "The Wolverine" had Darren Aronofsky directed, contemplate what he might have done with "Man Of Steel" (he was apparently a finalist to helm the movie) and shed a tear for HBO's "Hobgoblin" which the network dropped, it looks like there's some news that doesn't involve him not doing something. With "Noah" presumably heading into its last leg before hitting theaters next spring, the filmmaker seems to be lining up some new gigs and we may get to see Aronofsky take a stab at the spy genre.

Deadline reports that Aronofsky is in early talks to tackle an adaptation of "Red Sparrow," a recently published novel by Jason Matthews, a former CIA officer. It's all in very preliminary stages—there's no screenwriter listed yet—but Fox has snapped up the rights, with Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch slated to produced via their Film Rites shingle. So what's it all about? Well, it's a global espionage tale, set in the present day, with Russia as the starting point for a story that makes pit stops all over the map. Here's the Amazon synopsis:

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.

It sounds pretty pulpy all around, though the right screenwriter could turn it into some smart, crackling fare we reckon. As we said, it's still early days so we'll see how it shapes up, so file it under a possibility for now. 

This article is related to: Darren Aronofsky, Red Sparrow


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