Matt Reeves’ 6th and Idaho, Village Roadshow Pictures (The Matrix, Ocean’s 11, Mad Max: Fury Road) and XYZ Films (Mandy, Apostle) are teaming up to recreate the Russian sci-fi horror Sputnik, according to Deadline. Adam Kassan and Rafi Crohn are co-producing as part of 6th and Idaho with Mikhail Vrubel and Alexander Andryushenko stepping in as producers from Vodorod Pictures. Fyodor Bondarchuk for Art Pictures and Ilya Stewart for Hype Film are also producing.
The original film is set in 1980s Soviet Union during the Cold War and follows a young doctor summoned to a secluded research facility to assess a cosmonaut. The astronaut in question — following a space accident — has returned to earth with a malevolent organism living inside him.
Our very own Jeff Sneider labeled the original Egor Abramenko-directed film the “Russian Venom,” since a mysterious symbiote-like creature takes to tormenting its host. While the military yearns to study and weaponize the organism, the young doctor Tatyana (Oksana Akinshina) merely wishes to stop the parasite before it kills its host. Critics praised the film for its chilling atmosphere and a monster that epitomized the term “nightmare fuel.” The movie veered into the gory and grotesque, but it pleased horror enthusiasts who like to turn on their thinking caps as well.
Village Roadshow Pictures Executive Vice President of Feature Film Jillian Apfelbaum discussed the studio’s eagerness to hit the ground running. She told Deadline, “We believe Sputnik will translate well to English-speaking audiences and continue to captivate moviegoers worldwide with its thrilling story. We are eager to begin production and believe we have some of the best partners in the industry to reimagine Egor’s original vision while staying true to the film’s journey.”
Bondarchuk, who starred in the original film, said, “Sputnik was the first big Russian release to go straight to digital platforms during the lockdown, everyone was staying at home and an unprecedented amount of people watched it, the release created a lot of buzz both in Russia and globally. I’m very proud that Sputnik now is a rare Russian film to get an English language remake.”
XYZ Films will executive produce the English remake alongside Abramenko, Murad Osmann, Pavel Burya, Alina Tyazhlova and Mila Rozanova. Apfelbaum will also oversee for Village Roadshow.
The remake has some mighty big shoes to fill, but with Reeves’ production company backing the project, capturing the original’s eerie atmosphere and chill-inducing parasitic relationship should be more than doable. Remember: Reeves has also been a producer and/or director behind blood-curdling films like Let Me In and 10 Cloverfield Lane.