Darren Aronofsky, who directed Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in "Black Swan", enters talks to serve behind the lens for a project developed at 20th Century Fox. Deadline learns that Aronofsky is expected to direct "Red Sparrow", an adaptation of ex-CIA agent Jason Matthews' espionage novel.
Set in contemporary Russia, it follows state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova, who is assigned against her will to become a "Sparrow," a trained seductress in the service. She then strikes up a relationship with CIA officer Nathaniel Nash. The two collide in a charged atmosphere of trade craft, deception, and inevitably, a sexual attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.
Fox acquired the book, published in June by Scribner, in a 7-figure deal back in April. Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch will join forces to produce. No writer is attached as of this moment.
If Aronofsky eventually jumps aboard, this will be his follow-up project after "Noah", which is currently in post-production. In the film to be released in March 2014, Russell Crowe takes the lead, with Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins and more in supporting roles.
First footage of "Noah" has been screened at Texas' church-based Echo Conference. "Noah's very much been a patron saint in my life leading me toward my creative endeavours," Aronofsky told the audience, as cited by The Hollywood Reporter.
"It's been a long time since Bible movies were on the screen ... But now, finally, with Hollywood's help, we can actually do this and bring it to life."