Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace are in talks to star in Child 44, an adaptation of Tom Rob Smith’s Soviet-era thriller in the first of a trilogy book series.
Film rights were optioned by Ridley Scott back in 2009 and he and Michael Costigan will produce under the Scott Free banner, with Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Outside Love) directing the Richard Price penned script.
In a neat example of six degrees of separation, Hardy, who is coming off The Dark Knight Rises and Lawless recently signed on to Fox Searchlight’s Michael R. Roskam directed Animal Rescue with Rapace.
And if the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star does end up doing Child 44, it will see her reunited with Scott — albeit wearing a different hat — who directed her in last year’s Prometheus.
Inspired by the real life story of Ukranian serial child killer, Andrei Chikatilo, Child 44 is set in 1950’s Stalinist Soviet Union.
Nutshelled, it follows Leo Demidov, a dedicated but compromised member of Moscow’s secret police service who becomes drawn into a hunt for a prolific child killer.
In the process, he finds himself falling under the suspicion of his own government, as a multi layered conspiracy of silence to suppress the murders threatens to unravel the fallacy of state control.
Winner of the 2008 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller, Child 44 won the Waverton Good Read Award for first novel in 2009 and the Galaxy Book Award for Best Newcomer.
In addition, it was nominated for the 2008 Costa First Novel Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Man Booker Prize, as well as making the cut on numerous best of the year lists when it was published in 2008.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, if current talks go well Hardy will play Demidov and Rapace will play his wife Raisa, who has an agenda all of her own.
Following Animal Rescue which begins shooting in March, ideally Hardy and Rapace will roll on to Child 44 for a late May start in Budapest, Deadline notes.