Russian Vampires Rule in Empire, V

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Russian vampires made a splash with fans when Timur Bekmambetov’s visionary Night/Day Watch films rolled out of the land of vodka and really thick accents, and they’re about to take center stage once again in a big screen adaptation of Viktor Pelevin’s Empire, V.

Russian Vampires Rule in Empire, VAccording to Variety Cult Russian novelist Viktor Pelevin’s vision of modern Russia as a vampire nation is to be turned into a feature film by New York- and Moscow-based writer-director-producer Victor Ginzburg, who has acquired the rights.

Ginzburg, who released his first feature last month, an adaptation of Pelevin’s Generation P – a bizarre journey through the drugs and power-driven world of advertising in Russia in the early 1990s – says Empire, V is a loose sequel that takes off in even more weird directions.

This film is going to redefine the vampire genre – which Pelevin has already done in the book,” said Ginzburg. “It is an unbelievable discourse on current human society and its obsession with blood, beauty and money, which at the core is a coming of age story of a young vampire and a love story set in contemporary Moscow.

For those who have seen Generation P – with psychedelic mushroom-induced trips into the realms of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar figure, but zero vampires – the word ‘sequel’ may be misleading.

The first film’s hero, Babylon Tatarsky, is, Ginzburg says, “an accidental figure who figures for five minutes” in the sequel.

Ginzburg, who is in funding talks with a western investment fund and major television channels in Russia, says he has a first draft of a script for the sequel and is mulling whether to shoot in Russian or English and whether or not to make it in 3D. He hopes to be in pre-production by spring 2012.

I know people think Russian films don’t travel,” Ginzburg said, “but I’m an American filmmaker, and to me Pelevin is more like William Burroughs or William Gibson – somewhere between a state of mind and a state of shock.”

More on this one soon.

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