20th Century Fox has released a new preview for Red Sparrow, with just under a month left before this spy-thriller hits theaters on March 2. This preview, which comes just a few days after the studio's explosive Super Bowl trailer, reveals that, while this is a fictional story, there are some shades of truth in this Cold War thriller. This adaptation is based on the novel of the same name by Jason Matthews, who was a former CIA operative.
The preview opens with a Jennifer Lawrence interview, whose character Dominika Egorova is "forced into a program against her will". It was hinted at in an earlier preview that she was forced into this Sparrow School program because she witnessed a murder in a parking garage. This preview also features a scene with Matron (Charlotte Rampling), who explains that these Sparrows will be trained in "psychological manipulation in a global struggle for power." Jennifer Lawrence adds that this story was written by Jason Matthews, who spent "most of his life as a CIA agent."
The video also features Matthews himself, who reveals this story is a "mosaic" of his personal experiences at the spy agency, and features some "very authentic Cold War techniques." Director Francis Lawrence, who reunites with Jennifer Lawrence after directing her in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2, reveals that they wanted to make this a much more "grounded" movie in terms of the actual espionage seen in this story. Charlotte Rampling adds that these Sparrow Schools were "real" in the 1960s, while Francis Lawrence adds that there are probably still rumors of real "Sparrows" out there in the world today.
While Jason Matthews doesn't necessarily respond to rumors of real Sparrows, he states that, "the craft of espionage in the Soviet Union was thrilling and punctuated by periods of sheer terror in the streets". Just before the Super Bowl trailer debuted, the MPAA handed out an R rating for "strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity." The only other new release hitting theaters alongside Red Sparrow on March 2 is another R-rated movie, MGM's Death Wish remake, starring Bruce Willis, a rare weekend where the only two new releases are R-rated movies. While it remains to be seen who will come out on top, this R-rated showdown proves that studios have much more confidence in R-rated fare as they did in the past.
Last month, director Francis Lawrence addressed some fan criticisms that Red Sparrow is too similar to Black Widow, the Marvel Cinematic Universe character played by Scarlett Johansson. While it's true that both Black Widow and Jennifer Lawrence's Red Sparrow do have similar training backgrounds, Red Sparrow is informed by the experiences of a real CIA operative. While no sequel plans have been announced, Jason Matthews' 2013 book Red Sparrow is the first in a trilogy, followed by 2015's Palace of Treason and The Kremlin's Candidate, which will be published on February 12, 2018. Take a look at this new preview of Red Sparrow, courtesy of 20th Century Fox YouTube.