Timur Bekmambetov Wants To Make A 'Night Watch' Sequel Using The Screenlife Format

It can't be understated what a big deal Night Watch was in Russia. It was the highest-grossing Russian film ever produced and changed the game there when it was released in 2004. With a small budget by Hollywood standards, director Timur Bekmambetov created an ambitious and morally ambiguous horror-fantasy film for adults. The sequel, Day Watch, expanded on the world, cranked up the action, and went wild with its candy store visuals. Hollywood wasted no time calling Bekmambetov, who went on to direct Wanted and other major studio movies.

The filmmaker never got around to directing the third film in the trilogy, Twilight Watch, but he's still interested. But it would involve a major style change.

There are five books in the Sergei Lukyanenko series that inspired the movies, and the first three are a completed trilogy. On film, the story remains incomplete. Anton Gorodetsky (Konstantin Khabensky) – who's a deeply flawed anti-hero caught in the fight between good and evil – had another fight in his future.

While talking to Bekmambetov for his latest movie, Profile, he told us the only way he'd want to direct Twilight Watch. "Ok," he said excitedly. "It must be screenlife. It will be screenlife. Where do the dark ones and light ones live today? In a digital space. I think it will happen in screenlife. In those movies, there are two scenes in screenlife. I found them a few weeks ago. In Night Watch, it's a big scene. In Day Watch, there is another scene. It's like a total screenlife scene."

Screenlife is the name of the technology developed by the director's Bazelevs studio where the story is told entirely through computer and phone screens. He's produced several screenlife movies, including the excellent Searching, as well as his latest movie, Profile, which is another thriller that pushes the boundaries of the format. Could Bekmambetov go even bigger with screenlife, by depicting a world as large and as fantastical as Night Watch? He wants to try.

Bekmambetov could direct more movies than ever with screenlife. As he told us, the technique does allow him to create faster and with less cooks in the kitchen. After directing a few Hollywood productions, including Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the Ben-Hur remake, those experiences made him lean more towards directing screenlife movies.

However Bekmambetov wants to make Twilight Watch, we want to see it. Over the years, the filmmaker has remained confident the sequel will one day happen. Five years ago, we asked Bekmambetov about it as well. "I think it will happen," he told us then. "The mythology is so smart: good and evil made a deal. It's how we live today. I mean, an election is happening, whether it's happening in the United States or Russia, it looks like Night WatchNight Watch was great, because it was a very serious movie. It was dressed as entertainment, but underneath it's a very serious question about moral choices we make everyday, and the freedom to make those choices everyday. The whole idea of Night Watch was good and evil, but you should be free to make your choice every time. It's an honor to have the freedom to make those choices, and it's what makes us human beings."

Hopefully, Bekmambetov makes the choice to finally direct Twilight Watch.