EXCLUSIVE: There is no deal for her this early, but I hear Jennifer Lawrence is orbiting Red Sparrow, an adaptation of the Jason Matthews espionage novel at Fox. The hope is for her to re-team on the project with Francis Lawrence, her director on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Parts 1 and the upcoming 2. Deadline revealed at Comic-Con that Lawrence was getting involved in a film that once had David Fincher circling; he’s now close to a deal. Even then I heard talk this would be developed for Lawrence, though there might not be a formal attachment for awhile. Justin Haythe is being hired to rewrite a script by American Hustle scribe Eric Warren. Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch are producing with Chernin Entertainment.
The book is set in contemporary Russia, and state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the agency’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers 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.
Dominika winds up seeking revenge against her soulless masters, and living a fatal double life after she is recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington. She also hunts down a Russian illegal buried deep in the U.S. military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Vladimir Putin’s intelligence service. There is topicality to the tale, given the Edward Snowden affair.
Stay tuned. Lawrence next stars with Chris Pratt in Passengers at Sony with Morten Tyldum directing, and she’ll be in the Oscar mix with the David O Russell-directed Joy for Fox. CAA and 3 Arts rep Lawrence and Haythe.