Darren Aronofsky in Talks to Direct Espionage Thriller ‘Red Sparrow’

Published 2 years ago by

red sparrow movie darren aronofsky Darren Aronofsky in Talks to Direct Espionage Thriller Red Sparrow

Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky was, at one point, lined up to helm one of the Summer 2013’s major superhero movies, The Wolverine, but he ended up passing on the project – only to go and make another (very different) graphic novel adaptation: Noah, a big-budget Biblical epic based upon his and Ari Handel’s comic book retelling of the Noah’s Ark story. The project won’t hit theaters until next spring, but promotional images showing the cast in character suggest that Noah will look quite different than any motion picture created by Aronofsky to date.

Of course, Aronofsky has already proven that he’s not a filmmaker who enjoys repeating himself, with regard to the subject matter for his individual movies. Case in point: among the projects that Aronofsky is considering as a potential followup to Noah is Red Sparrow, a steamy globe-trotting espionage thriller. 20th Century Fox won the rights to the project’s source novel (written by Jason Matthews), and the studio has begun early talks to have Aronofsky direct the film adaptation.

Here is an official description of the setup for Matthew’s book (which was published earlier this year in June):

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.

Be warned: Deadline‘s summary of the Red Sparrow novel – contained within the site’s exclusive on Aronofsky’s potential involvement – goes deeper into the plot than the excerpt included above, so those who are spoiler-wary might want to skip on reading the second half of their article. Moreover, the site is cautioning that a deal for Aronofsky to direct Red Sparrow is not guaranteed; in fact, he may instead decide to next move ahead with the gestating George Washington project The General, which he’s been loosely attached to direct for over a year now.

black swan aronofsky portman Darren Aronofsky in Talks to Direct Espionage Thriller Red Sparrow

Darren Aronofsky and Natalie Portman filming ‘Black Swan’

Having said that, there are numerous elements present in Matthew’s Red Sparrow narrative that bear a resemblance to Black Swan (for example, having a female protagonist whose occupation requires her to make full use of her body and mind) – which is to say, that could make the project all the more enticing to Aronofsky. Not to mention, the relevant political subject matter should help with attracting a quality screenwriter to adapt Matthew’s book – with the obvious candidate being Oscar-winner Steve Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), since he is already onboard as a producer, along with Garrett Basch (Welcome to the Rileys).

The female spy/seductress sub-genre has yielded solid results in recent memory – thanks to the efforts of directors like Ang Lee (Lust, Caution) and Paul Verhoeven (Black Book) – and Red Sparrow under Aronofsky’s supervision could prove to be another interesting addition. Lastly, the film in the Black Swan director’s hands could easily be as energetically-charged – in terms of cinematography and editing – as the best of the Jason Bourne movies. (That’s assuming you don’t prefer your spy dramas more on the slow-burn side, a la Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.)

Would you like to see Darren Aronofsky direct Red Sparrow? Let us know in the comments section.


Noah opens in U.S. theaters on March 28th, 2014.

We’ll keep you posted on the status of Red Sparrow as the story develops.

Source: Deadline

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Sounds like the book was written based on the real life story (Anna Chapman? Not sure if that’s her name or I’m pulling it out of nowhere).

    • Anyone got anything for invisible ink? ComeON posted a super secret spy message and I didn’t get a decoder in my Frosted Flakes this morning.

      • Lotsa flakes around here…not that I’m one…..

      • I think the comment is supposed to be in telepathic form… Sorry, I just dont have that ability :(

  2. “sub-genre has yielded sold results in recent”

    ‘Solid results’??

    This should be a real nice change of pace for Aronofsky, if he winds up making this.

    • Fixed.

      Thanks for the catch!

  3. Say “Yes” to “Noah”. Red Sparrow might be watchable, so I won’t give it the bird right off, but might watch it on Netflix when available.

  4. The immediate though that came into my head was:

    Black Swan – Red Sparrow… what’s next? Blue Bird, White Dove, Green Goblin…? XD

    • *thought T_T

    • When I didn’t read the title properly, I did wonder if he was just making another ‘coloured bird’ movie…

  5. he’s a great director but am still piss with him for abandoning The Wolverine.

    • Why?

      James Mangold did a fantastic job.

  6. My favourite Director of all time.

  7. I’ve only seen The Wrestler and he proved capable enough director I guess. Anna Chapman’s spy-story is interesting and deserves to be told, but I can’t imagine it would be too exciting to watch. This story is not exactly breaking new ground. From a male point of view, it’s just a chance to see a lot of sex scenes. It would be more interesting to see a woman who is fully aware of the power of her sex, embraces it, and how she is easily able to manipulate men. But still, a low-key film.

    • Black Swan was good too but those are the only two movies I’ve seen from Aronofsky so far. The Wrestler was far better though, that movie was criminally overlooked.

  8. Black Widow!!?? :O 😉