In talks with Universal for redo, director says
“Wanted” director Timur Bekmambetov is in talks with Universal about an English-lingo remake of hit Russian sci-fi thriller “Black Lightning,” whichhe co-produced with U. Chris Weitz (“New Moon”) would produce the U redo, alongside Bekmambetov. The Russian-language film made a big impression on local auds when it was released Dec. 31, taking nearly $10 million in its first weekend, before notching up a total gross of more than $20 million. Bekmambetov, who is in the Kazakh capital where he launched the first Astana Action Film Festival, said there are plans for a Russian-Chinese sequel to the film. He described it as a Slavic “Transformers” meets “Batman,” about a car-mad student who supertunes an old Soviet sedan and runs up against the criminal underground. He is in talks with “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” producer Bill Kong for the sequel. Bekmambetov is also moving forward with director Tim Burton and “Wanted” producer Jim Lemley on the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestseller “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Bekmambetov said the pic would be a “purely American project,” but there is no date yet set for shooting to begin. The next project up for the Russian-Kazakh director, who made Russian hit sci-fi movies “Night Watch” and “Day Watch” before being lured to Hollywood, is English-language alien invasion thriller “The Darkest Hour,” which begins shooting in Moscow in July. Bekmambetov is producing the $40 million New Regency-Summit project with Tom Jacobson. Director is Chris Gorak (“Right at Your Door”).