Earlier this year, we took a look at a handful of directors who are attached to a zillion projects, and one of those folks was Ridley Scott. One of the movies on his slate was “Child 44,” and among the plethora of options he currently has, we figured the chances of him actually getting behind the camera on this (which he signed on for way back in 2007) at about 8/1 and for those you betting at home, you can now take it off his list. Another name is stepping in, and it’s an exciting one.
“Snabba Cash” and “Safe House” helmer Daniel Espinosa is in early talks to take the reins, with Scott Free producing (of course), and the project now set up over at Summit. Based on the book by Tom Rob Smith and adapted by the excellent Richard Price (“The Wire,” “Clockers“), the Cold War-era tale follows a disgraced MGB agent in the Stalin-era Soviet Union investigating a prolific child murderer who may have connections going to the very top of the party leadership. The story is based on the true account of the Rostov Ripper, a Ukranian serial killer who was executed for committing over 50 murders.
The book is the first in a trilogy (franchise!), but there’s no green light yet. That said, Deadline feels “like this one’s finally going to happen” so we guess this means the yakuza crime flick Espinosa signed on to in the spring, “The Outsider,” is on the backburner for now. Either way, another opportunity for Espinosa to flex his muscles is fine by us. Even if “Safe House” was a bit too by-the-numbers, Espinosa showed he’s got energy and flair to spare, and this seems like an intriguing project attuned to his talents.