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Russian redo makes ‘News’

Klebanov nabs rights to Hong Kong thriller

MOSCOW — In what’s billed as the first deal of its kind, Sam Klebanov of local indie distrib Kino bez Granits (Film Without Borders) has secured Russian remake rights to Hong Kong helmer Johnnie To’s “Breaking News.”

Deal includes rights for local release of the original.

Many of the themes of To’s thriller, including crime and media manipulation, look all too familiar to Russians, and Klebanov’s mulling a Russo version that would considerably develop topical and heightened satirical aspects of To’s version.

Charting ongoing developments in a standoff between police and criminals, pic is played out with attempts from both sides to manipulate media through filtered broadcasts of what’s going on — an idea that looks highly relevant in today’s Russia.

Klebanov is in talks with young Scandinavian helmer Anders Banke, who’s currently completing his debut feature, Swedish vampire action movie “Frostbite.” A graduate of Moscow’s Russian State Film School (VGIK), Banke is fluent in Russian.

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