Disney to restart Russian-language film production

Disney to restart Russian-language film production
Scene from Disney Russia's last film The Book of Masters (2009, dir. Vadim Sokolovsky) (Image: Kniga Masterov 2009 / Geymeri360 / Youtube)

21 April 2016

Disney is set to resume production of local-language films in Russia after a seven-year hiatus with family feature The Last Warrior (Posledni Bogatyr).

“This is part of our localisation strategy,” said Marina Zhigalova-Ozkan, general director of Disney Russia, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “We want to carry on the tradition of screen adaptations of Russian fairy tales, started by such great film directors as Aleksandr Rou and Aleksandr Ptushko.”

The Walt Disney Company has signed an agreement to work jointly on the fantasy film with local studio Yellow, Black and White.

While the budget has yet to be released, it has been announced that the film is going to be directed by film and TV director Dmitry Dyachenko, and Victor Horinyak will play the leading role.

The Last Warrior centres on Ivan, the winner of a TV game show who enters the world of Russian folk tales, where he is believed to be a descendent of Ilya Muromets, a Russian warrior.

The last film Disney made in Russia, The Book of Masters, was released in 2009 and had a budget of US$8 million, grossing US$10.8 million.

Source: Kommersant (in Russian) and Hollywood Reporter