Summit/Lionsgate is moving fast on Child 44 as they’re in early talks with Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa to direct an adaptation of the Tom Rob Smith novel that has been adapted by Richard Price. Deadline reports that the plan is to get into production early next year, but insiders at Summit said that the film hasn’t yet gotten the green light. Scott Free is producing.
“The central figure is Leo Demidov, a disgraced lawman in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, who is assigned to investigate a series of gruesome child murders. The book is based on the Rostov Ripper, the Ukrainian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, who was executed for 52 murders and was enabled by the institutional denial that existed in Soviet political culture at the time.”
The book was the first of a trilogy. It was first acquired at Fox, where Ridley Scott was once attached to direct and remains producer.