Ridley Lines Up Another One

Scott goes Stalinist for Child 44

If there’s one thing Ridley Scott won’t be short of over the next few years it’s things to do. With American Gangster out later this year, the director has already lined up two subsequent films: The DiCaprio-starring Penetration, aka Body of Lies, (which may sound suspiciously like a knocking shop title but we’re assured is not), and dark, western thriller, Blood Meridian. Nevertheless, Scott has added announced a third string to his increasingly capacious bow in the form of Stalinist murder mystery, Child 44.

Based on the novel by Tom Rob Smith (to be published in 2008 - they don’t waste time these Hollywood types), Child 44 sees an officer in Russia’s secret police framed for treason by one of his colleagues. On the run from Uncle Joe, the former NKVD operative and his wife should quite clearly head for the hills but, instead, become drawn into the mystery surrounding a series of unexplained child killings. Risking a lengthy stretch in the gulag, our hero launches his own investigation into the crimes, regardless of the quite clear and present danger.

It all sounds very Robert Harris, which is certainly no bad thing, and we’re not even going to be put off by the fact that Smith includes writing credits for soon-to-conclude Sky One soap Dream Team on his CV.