Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow © 2018 20th Century Fox
After they three Hunger Games-Films shot together have director Francis Lawrence and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence (unrelated) teamed up for a completely different, much more adult film. With full physical effort, Lawrence played in the agent thriller Red Sparrow the Russian ballerina Dominika Egorova, who was recruited by the secret service after being injured and trained in the art of seduction and espionage. She is then sent to the USA and assigned to a CIA agent. The latter in turn tries to turn her around and pull her to his side. But the two quickly have more in common than just their game of cat and mouse.
Red Sparrow relocated the Cold War between Russia and the United States to the present and for large parts worked like a more explicit John le Carré adaptation. Its great leading actress, the cleverly nested narrative style and the atmospheric staging made the film one of my personal highlights of the last year. Granted, I have a soft spot for spy thrillers as well as Jennifer Lawrence, so of course the film hit the spot on me. Still, Luc Bessons showed Anna this year, for example, how you can make a similar film significantly worse.
Red Sparrow was based on the novel of the same name by Jason Matthews, which in turn was the prelude to a trilogy that was continued and concluded with “Palace of Treason” and “The Kremlin’s Candidate”. The novels follow the complex double life of Dominika and her CIA liaison Nate Nash. The film can be seen as complete as it was, but the door would have been open for a sequel. Both Francis Lawrence and lead actor Joel Edgerton have already announced the start of Red Sparrow their interest in a sequel.
Unfortunately, despite the star power of Jennifer Lawrence, the 140-minute, R-rated thriller with some quite open-hearted scenes was not accessible enough for most moviegoers. With a budget of $ 69 million (excluding marketing expenses), he grossed just over $ 150 million worldwide – not even enough to cover the studio’s costs in theatrical release. The chances of a sequel have dropped significantly and recently Francis Lawrence has confirmed that there are probably no more hopes for it Red Sparrow 2 should do: (from English)
I don’t think that will happen. The film didn’t get the reactions I was hoping for. I think that’s probably off the table.
It’s a shame, if not unexpected. Red Sparrow Heard like all other Fox films, now Disney too, and the last thing I could imagine is that Disney would show great interest in a second part.
In return, Francis Lawrence has indicated his return to the world of the Hunger Games. “Panem” author Suzanne Collins will be releasing the prequel novel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” next May, set 64 years before the events of the “Panem” series and about the aftermath of the failed rebellion in Panem. Of course, Lionsgate promptly grabbed the film rights, as the franchise remains the studio’s most commercially successful to this day. Lawrence confirms that he has already had discussions with the writer and Lionsgate about the possible film adaptation:
I’ve definitely spoken to Suzanne (Collins) about it and Lionsgate. It’s something I would love to do.
Of course, the question arises as to how great the interest of moviegoers will be in a film from the Panem world without Katniss and other well-known characters. For my part, I would much rather have it Red Sparrow 2 seen by the director, but it turns out once again that cinema-goers behavior determines what we see.