When the first trailer for Jennifer Lawrence’s upcoming spy-thriller movie Red Sparrow dropped, people started comparing it to Black Swan (because of the ballet stuff) and to Marvel’s Black Widow (because of the kickass female Russian spy stuff). But are those comparisons valid?
The movie directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and 2) stars Jennifer Lawrence as a former Russian prima ballerina forced into a life of espionage, and Joel Edgerton as a CIA agent. It also stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons. Coming out in theaters on March 2, Red Sparrow is based on Jason Matthews’ book trilogy of the same name.
As you can see in the video above, SYFY WIRE’s Caitlin Busch sat down with the director, who shared his thoughts about all the comparisons:
“That kind of thing doesn’t surprise me,” said Lawrence. “I’ve now made enough movies that I understand that people love to put things in a box. And I saw that as the trailer started to hit and people started to get a sense of it and sort of see images of Jen that they started to say ‘Oh, it’,s another Atomic Blonde’ or ‘It’s Black Widow,’ because of the ballet stuff. And I get it, because that’s kind of in people’s nature, but it’s truly a very unique kind of a film. I mean, it’s the most specifically genre film that I’ve ever done, and the only reason I would do something specifically genre is if I could do something completely different I felt was really unique.
"This is a character story. It’s a young woman who’s a ballerina and her life is ripped away and she’s thrown into the quite brutal world of espionage and she’s got to survive. So for me, it’s a survival story, but it’s a character story," continued Lawrence. "It’s not an action movie. It is certainly not a Marvel movie. I think it’s a very unique movie with a very unique tone. But I just urge people that think they know what the movie is to come see it and see for themselves.”
Lawrence also touched upon what drew him to the story in the first place; what he thinks of critics’ opinion that the rape scenes and sexual assault portrayed in the film weren’t vital to the plot; the amount of research he did into the world of espionage for the movie; and more. Check out our exclusive video interview with Francis Lawrence above, and then our interview with stars Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton below.
Additional material by Nathalie Caron.