Jennifer Lawrence has tackled a lot of different roles in her young career, from dystopian YA novel heroine to multi-millionaire mop inventor to blue-skinned mutant, but one thing she hasn’t yet done is play a spy caught up in a twisty tale of espionage. Now Lawrence is setting out to remedy that by portraying a ballerina-turned-double-agent in the novel adaptation Red Sparrow from 20th Century Fox and frequent Lawrence collaborator Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2).
Red Sparrow stars Lawrence as Dominika Egorova, a ballerina who becomes involved with a CIA agent played by Joel Edgerton. After a suffering a career-ending injury, Egorova is enlisted by Russian intelligence to become a double agent and exploit her connection to Edgerton’s character. Though Red Sparrow is still listed as in production, CinemaCon attendees were given a glimpse of an early trailer featuring Lawrence and co-star Charlotte Rampling.
Deadline was on hand to provide details about the Red Sparrow trailer shown at CinemaCon:
- The trailer begins with Jennifer Lawrence’s ballerina character, Dominika Egorova suffering a severe leg injury on stage.
- After her recovery, Lawrence encounters a Russian intel officer who gives her a chance to “become special again.”
- Shots of snow and lavish Russian estates roll by while Charlotte Rampling’s character, in voice-over, gives Lawrence the low-down: “You will be schooled in psychological manipulation. Every human is a puzzle of need. You will be trained to determine the target’s weakness and exploit that weakness through seduction. From this moment forward you will become sparrows, weapons of Russia.”
- Then things turn dark when Rampling warns: “If you can’t be of service to the state, I’m to put a bullet through your head.”
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) collaborators David Fincher and Rooney Mara were at one point circling the Red Sparrow film adaptation, as was Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky. Though Aronofsky dropped out of Red Sparrow long before Lawrence became involved, he did end up working with the actress on the upcoming drama Mother!, which is set to be released in October.
After her last film Passengers turned out to be somewhat of a box office disappointment, there is a perception among some that Lawrence is in need of a hit to help her career rebound. Lawrence herself is certainly a bankable star but the key might be finding just the right vehicle to let her shine. We’ll see if Red Sparrow turns out to be the proper showcase for the Oscar-winning Lawrence and her talents.