After sitting in the development waiting room since 2007 when it was snatched up for cinematic adoption, Stalinist murder mystery Child 44 might finally be going to a good home. Deadline reports that Summit / Lionsgate is now in talks with Safe House director Daniel Espinosa to take it on.
Originally optioned before it was even on bookshelves (that happened in 2008), Tom Rob Smith’s novel was picked up by Fox, which saw it as a potential directing project for Ridley Scott. But like so many films on the busy man’s To Do list, it fell by the wayside, eventually dropping into turnaround.
The book focuses on Leo Demidov, a disgraced officer in Russia’s secret police framed for treason by a colleague. Despite that added pressure, he gets mixed up with investigating a series of gruesome child murders. Smith followed up the tome with The Secret Speech and Agent 6, which arrived last year.
Espinosa is also attached to crime drama The Outsider, but if he does sign to make Child 44, you’ve got to figure that Lionsgate will want him to prioritise the movie, especially since the studio plans to have it shooting next year.