This week Fox Searchlight FINALLY opens Night Watch in America. It was supposed to open last year, and they showed it to us at the Tribeca Film Festival last April. I don’t know what happened, but the film seemed to get lost in the shuffle.
You’ve probably heard a lot about the movie, since the hype has been deafening on the web*. Or maybe it’s the screaming banner ads here on CHUD that are deafening. Either way, you probably know that Night Watch is a Russian fantasy/horror film that broke all box office records in the former Soviet Union (where the movie watches you), and is the first film in a trilogy. The second film, Day Watch, was made back to back with Night Watch, and has probably been out in Russia for some time, and who knows when we’ll be getting it in the US (Fox Searchlight showed me a clip last week, though, and it certainly looks big. And a little silly).
The news in this here news piece is that it looks like the final film in the trilogy will shoot in the United States, in English, with a whole new cast. While this seems like suddenly shooting Return of the King in Vancouver and populating it with the stars of The OC, I am sure that someone somewhere knows what they’re doing. Whether or not that person works at Fox Searchlight, or in fact in the movie industry at all, is up for discussion, but I need to believe that at least one such person exists somewhere.
"I am not sure how I will direct in English," director Timur Bekmambetov told Sci-Fi Wire. "I feel like I am an Other when I am here." The Others are the psychics and vampires and mystical beasties who populate his film’s world (based on the novels of Sergei Lukyanenko).
Night Watch was the biggest ever movie success in Russia, and Bekmambetov thinks he knows why. "Stalin created a fantasy world for us for 70 years. We could not imagine what anything else was like," he said. "Stalin created our world, the roles, how to dress, how to drink, how to pray, how to live. Now, the younger generation is more open to vampires." Great, Ronnie defeated communism so the Goths could take over. Does this mean the Juggaloes are poised to control Iraq?
* Don’t believe the hype and you’ll like the movie more. It’s interesting, but it’s not the second coming of anything.