Director eyeing contemporary thriller. Mike Fleming over at Deadline has received word that Darren Aronofsky, who is putting the finishing touches to his Biblical epic ‘Noah’ starring Russell Crowe, is in talks with 20th Century Fox to take the director’s chair for an adaptation of the Jason Matthews espionage novel ‘Red Sparrow.’ The book, published back in June, is officially described as follows: “In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.” Fox acquired the rights to the spy novel in April with Steve Zaillian and Film Rites partner Garrett Basch attached as producers. Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ is scheduled to arrive in Irish cinemas March 2014.