Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace are in negotiations to star in the gestating thriller Child 44. We first reported on this project back in April 2007, when Ridley Scott was attached to direct. Now he will only produce for his Scott Free production company, alongside Michael Costigan.

Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) is directing from a screenplay by Richard Price, adapted from the Tom Rob Smith novel. The story is set in 1950s Russia, centering on a former Soviet Police member who investigates a series of child murders. He soon finds himself targeted by his own government. Tom Hardy will play the Soviet officer, with Noomi Rapace playing his wife, who pretends to be the loving partner, but is really concealing her true feelings.

Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace will first star in the Dennis Lehane adaptation Animal Rescue, which starts shooting in March. Child 44 is scheduled to begin production in Budapest this May.

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