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When it comes to Darren Aronofsky, the auteur behind Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan, it’s impossible to tell what he will come up with next… though it’s safe to assume it will be mind-blowing. With his ambitious biblical drama Noah recently wrapped, reports are popping up about what project Aronofsky is eying next.
Deadline claims that the celebrated writer-director is considering putting together a biopic about first president of the United States, George Washington. But that production is likely far down the road, as Aronofsky is currently in early negotiations to develop an adaptation of Jason Matthews’ spy novel Red Sparrow for 20th Century Fox. Should he sign on, Aronofsky would definitely direct, and—considering he’s contributed to the screenplays of four out of six of his feature films—would likely have a hand in drafting its script.
The novel was only published last June, but with a sexy female spy at its center, it’s easy to understand what attracted Fox to the property, snatching it up in a seven-figure deal after a heated bidding war. The “Red Sparrow” that the book is named for is one Dominika Egorova, a strong-willed, gorgeous Russian ballerina turned spy who works within President Vladimir Putin’s contemporary Russia with its suffocating bureaucracy. After a serious injury ends her dancing career, Egorova’s uncle pushes her into training as a Sparrow, a seductress spy. Her first assignment is to get close to an ambitious American CIA agent named Nate Nash and uncover the mole he’s pumping for Russian intelligence. Before long the two begin a complicated romance that leads to passionate nights, double lives, and a fragile alliance.
Matthews explains below a key difference between Russian and American brands of espionage below, implying how they inspire his novel:
Admittedly, I haven’t yet read Red Sparrow, but it sounds like it could be a stirring spy story, playing on Cold War themes and capitalizing on the U.S.’s growing concerns over Russia’s politics. With Black Swan still so fresh in my mind, it’s easy to imagine how Aronofsky could eagerly dive into the themes of forbidden desire, dark secrets, and the tenuous nature of trust. I’m already casting Natalie Portman in my head, which is definitely putting the cart before the horse. Still, I’ll dream that this will happen, because sometimes that apparently works.
Before Aronofsky goes from Black Swan to Red Sparrow he’ll reveal Noah, a star-stacked biblical epic that gives a gritty, live-action interpretation of the story of Noah and his ark. Russell Crowe plays the title character; his co-stars include Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly, Douglas Booth, Kevin Durand, Ray Winstone, and Anthony Hopkins. Noah will sail into theaters on March 28th, 2014.