'Red Sparrow' Director Responds to Black Widow Comparisons

The director of Red Sparrow is fighting off comparisons to Marvel’s Black Widow.

Red Sparrow has garnered a lot of comparisons to Marvel's Black Widow. Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Dominika, is forced into a Russian spy program as a girl. Later, she rebels against her masters. The similarities are clear, but director Francis Lawrence is pushing back.

Lawrence tells Screen Rant that Red Sparrow comes from a very different place.

“There’s people who think it’s very similar to the Black Widow story, This is not pulled from Black Widow, this is pulled from Red Sparrow [the novel the movie is based on], you know, it’s just like written by a guy who was in the CIA [Jason Matthews]. It’s like, his references are coming from a very very different place from that. But there’ll always be that. People like to put things in boxes, and I think is a really unique film. This is a thriller, it’s not action, again it’s not gadgety. It’s a hard-R. There’s violence, it’s a bit perverse, it’s suspenseful, a lot of intrigue. It ‘s a very different kind of spy film.”

One of the details connecting Black Widow to Red Sparrow is that both have Ballet in their backstory. Lawrence says Dominika’s dance history is placed more in the foreground.

“Most of the movie takes place after she’s injured,” Lawrence says. “There’s a big sequence up front where we have a big ballet, choreographed piece that we worked quite hard on and Jen did a bunch of training for and we had great dance doubles and all that great stuff. Which is very cool, but no that’s almost right away.”

Red Sparrow may be coming first, but there are rumors that a Black Widow movie is in development at Marvel Studios. This could be Scarlett Johansson's first opportunity to play Natasha Romanoff sans Avengers. The movie is reportedly aiming for a 2020 release. Johansson is rumored to be meeting soon with potential screenwriters for the project.

Red Sparrow opens in theaters March 2, 2018.

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