Nikolai Lebedev Boards Russian ‘Flight’

Cannes Film Festival

Nikolai Lebedev, whose “Legend No. 17” is a Russian hit, has gotten on board “Flight Crew,” a contempo makeover of 1979’s “Air Crew,” considered Russia’s first local disaster movie.

Lebedev’s project is currently at the script stage.

Released domestically by Central Partnership, “Legend No.17,” a biopic about Russian ice hockey star Valeri Kharlamov, is riding high at the Russian box office, having grossed $27 million after four weeks, with nearly 4 million admissions.

“The film was successful in Russia because it boasts top-notched production values and we marketed as a Hollywood blockbuster,” said Vadim Vereschagin director of distribution at Central Partnership, which also distributes pics from many U.S. studios in Russia. The exec added, “Other factors that are driving up the Russian B.O. are the good local reviews, word-of-mouth, the cast and the fact that it’s based on a true story, which gave us a strong marketing hook.”

Lebedev’s previous credits include another local blockbuster, Slavic fantasy “Wolfhound,” which grossed just over $20 million in 2007.