It may not be the Black Widow origin story everyone’s been clamouring for, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth watching.
Jennifer Lawrence shines in the latest trailer for Red Sparrow, her first film since 2017’s divisive mother!. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence helmed the film, but this time Katniss nor her signature bow and arrow are nowhere in sight. Instead, the younger Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, a former prima ballerina who is forced to enroll in a secret intelligence service and undergo training to become a cold-blooded human weapon known as a Sparrow.
American CIA agent Nathaniel Nash (Bright’s Joel Edgerton) tries to convince Dominika to align with him and abandon her fellow Sparrows. But leaving the Sparrow lifestyle behind is easier said than done, especially when the well-being of Dominika’s mother is on the line.
Though people have been asking for a Black Widow-centric movie for years (and, as many have pointed out, Natasha Romanoff’s backstory seems eerily similar to Dominika’s), Red Sparrow could suffer the same fate as Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy or last year’s Atomic Blonde and fade into the background while bigger, more prestigious films prevail.
On the other hand, the Lawrence squared team is back together for the first time since 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. And while Dominika and Katniss are clearly very different characters (though both of them make huge sacrifices to protect their loved ones), an actor-director duo who’ve worked together before are far more promising than a duo who haven’t. Francis Lawrence also directed the music videos for Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” so we’re even more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
In a Deadline interview conducted (by the incomparable Oprah) late last year, Lawrence also admitted that taking on the role of Dominika was an attempt to regain control of her sexuality after someone released several nude photos of her online back in 2014.
“Red Sparrow was sexual, and I haven’t done anything sexy or sexual,” Lawrence explained. “I just thought, ‘I’ll never do that again. I’ll never share that part of myself ever since it got shared against my will.’ And then when I said yes to Red Sparrow, I felt I was taking something back.”
Kudos to Lawrence for reclaiming her power and regaining the confidence needed to take on a role like Dominika—we’re sure that confidence will translate to the screen.
Red Sparrow makes it way into theatres on March 2. Check out the newest trailer below.