Everyone loves those Red Sparrow books—I haven’t read them, but they’re well liked to say the least. Jason Matthews novels have taken a place in popular culture that titles like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train have held in recent years. And with such popularity and widespread cultural cache comes the inevitable big screen translation. Though it doesn’t come out until next year, the first teaser for Francis Lawrence’s Jennifer Lawrence (no relation) starring Red Sparrow is here. Take a look.
I know they’re likely very different movies, but watching this Red Sparrow trailer, it’s hard not to immediately think of Atomic Blonde. After all, both prominently feature icy cold platinum blonde femme fetale international agents of espionage—Jennifer Lawrence this time, not Charlize Theron—as well as general levels of ass kicking, violence, and stabby stabby. (Also, as it reteams J. Lawrence with F. Lawrence, and it’s the start of a trilogy, I can’t help but think of it as The Hunger Games for grown ups.)
Okay, so they share some DNA, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same movie. In reality, the story sounds more in line with Black Widow’s history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This take on the “young Russian girls trained as spies” narrative certainly presents a more adult, less sanitized-for-mass-consumption take on the story, but they’re cut from the same cloth, so to speak. That’s neither bad nor good, just an observation.
Here’s the synopsis:
Dominika Egorova is many things. A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. A master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.
Like I said, I’ve never read the books, but from this trailer, Red Sparrow looks promising. I’m always up for a tense spy thriller, and it’s always nice to see Hollywood turn out a big-budget, female-fronted potential franchise starter. It’s almost like women like movies, too. Weird, I know.