We always love seeing Gary Oldman in anything, so if Tom Hardy wasn’t enough reason to pique your interest in “Child 44,” well, then surely the presence of Oldman will. The Hollywood Reporter announces that he is joining the adaptation of the novel by Tom Rob Smith. Daniel Espinosa will direct; Noomi Rapace also stars (I did not mean to disrespect the talented Ms. Rapace in the above sentences about the attractions of the cast, but she’s still finding her footing in the Hollywood star system).
Richard Price adapted Smith’s novel. Here’s the Amazon review:
If all that Tom Rob Smith had done was to re-create Stalinist Russia, with all its double-speak hypocrisy, he would have written a worthwhile novel. He did so much more than that in Child 44, a frightening, chilling, almost unbelievable horror story about the very worst that Stalin’s henchmen could manage. In this worker’s paradise, superior in every way to the decadent West, the citizen’s needs are met: health care, food, shelter, security. All one must offer in exchange are work and loyalty to the State. Leo Demidov is a believer, a former war hero who loves his country and wants only to serve it well. He puts contradictions out of his mind and carries on. Until something happens that he cannot ignore. A serial killer of children is on the loose, and the State cannot admit it. To admit that such a murderer is committing these crimes is itself a crime against the State. Instead of coming to terms with it, the State’s official position is that it is merely coincidental that children have been found dead, perhaps from accidents near the railroad tracks, perhaps from a person deemed insane, or, worse still, homosexual. But why does each victim have his or her stomach excised, a string around the ankle, and a mouth full of dirt? Coincidence? Leo, in disgrace and exiled to a country village, doesn’t think so. How can he prove it when he is being pursued like a common criminal himself? He and his wife, Raisa, set out to find the killer. The revelations that follow are jaw-dropping and the suspense doesn’t let up. This is a debut novel worth reading.
The always busy Oldman will next be seen in “Paranoia” and “RoboCop.” He’s also set to star in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”