Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Faces Financial Ruin (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Faces Financial Ruin (Updated) 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: On the Set of Fedor Bondarchuk's 'Stalingrad'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 11, 2012 at 9:17AM

While Russia and Hollywood both want a piece of the other's box office pie, they are more likely to come out ahead by working together on big commercial projects than emerging indie pictures. One movie that various Hollywood distributors are eyeing with interest is rising actor-director Fedor Bondarchuk's "Stalingrad."
1
Director Fedor Bondarchuk on the set of 'Stalingrad'
Director Fedor Bondarchuk on the set of 'Stalingrad'

While Russia and Hollywood both want a piece of the other's box office pie, they are more likely to come out ahead by working together on big commercial projects than emerging indie pictures. One movie that various Hollywood distributors are eyeing with interest is rising actor-director Fedor Bondarchuk's "Stalingrad."

What does it have going for it? Well, it's a 3-D epic romance set against a famous and pivotal World War II battle between the Russians and the Germans. August Diehl ("Inglourious Basterds") and Thomas Kretschmann ("Resident Evil") lead the international cast.

While we were in St. Petersburg, the Roskino bus took a detour to a wet and muddy movie set commandeered by Bondarchuk, who had starred in two of the Roskino selection, the commercial comedy "Spy" and the romance "Two Days." Charismatic and well-muscled, Bondarchuk seemed full of energy mid-way through a wearying fifteen-week shoot.

'Stalingrad'
'Stalingrad'


He welcomed his visitors into a tunnel full of Russian and German extras with various wounds waiting to be called, and took us through a strafed Russian apartment building demolished by gunfire and bombing, and across the muddy no-man's land to the German side, where a tank inside the first floor of the opposite building was aimed at the Russians across a no-man's land. The movie weaves several love stories through this intense, long-pitched stand-off between the Germans and Russians, including a Russian woman who is loved and protected by a group of five soldiers; when she has her child, they all become its parents.

Thomas Kretschmann, 'Stalingrad'
Thomas Kretschmann, 'Stalingrad'
'Stalingrad'
'Stalingrad'
'Stalingrad'
'Stalingrad'

Bondarchuk is a photographer and music video director who has helmed two feature films, of which Afghanistan actioner "9th Company" was a global hit; this is his first with the Red Camera in 3-D. An American stereographer was on hand advising the production on the 3-D, while another man was marshalling the tens of gigabytes of storage necessary for two sets of data; the movie will also be converted to screen in IMAX, the first non-American production to do so. David Lynch composer Angelo Badalamenti ("Blue Velvet") is composing the score.

The $27-million picture was financed by a combination of Russia's Cinema Fund, foreign pre-sales and a loan from state-backed VTB Bank. The film has already been pre-sold to China. Producers Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergei Melkumov and Dmitri Redovskiy are seeking a North American distributor, and at least two studios are talking about picking up some foreign rights.

'Staliingrad'
'Staliingrad'
'Stalingrad'
'Stalingrad'

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.