Betting that their creative chemistry will extend beyond slick adaptations of chilly Swedish murder mysteries, Fox is in talks with David Fincher and Rooney Mara to direct and star in Red Sparrow, a spy drama set in modern-day Russia. Based on the novel by Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow follows Russian secret agent Dominika Egorova as she navigates the choppy waters of the post-Soviet intelligence world. Egorova is a “Sparrow,” a special kind of agent who uses her seductive wiles to engage in “sexpionage,” which sounds like something a bunch of CIA guys thought up between beers at a company barbecue. Egorova is assigned to operate against American intelligence agent Nathaniel Nash—who seems to practice plain old espionage—but the two fall for each other, endangering both themselves and the networks of spies they protect. The story sounds pretty out there, but the author of the novel was actually in the CIA for decades, so it’s based on the inside knowledge of a guy who was probably at that barbecue.
The talks with Fincher and Mara are still in the early stages, but if they go through, it will mark the first time the pair will have worked together since 2011’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It may also mark the last, depending on whether producers ever get around to The Girl Who Played With Fire.