profile trailer

It’s fitting interviewing director Timur Bekmambetov over Zoom. Towards the end of the conversation, when the pleasantries and goodbyes were over, something about my reaction to finishing the call made him say “You see!” I didn’t see. Maybe he saw how exhausted I actually was the morning of the interview after I hit pause on the recording and was exiting the digital room. I imagined he got a kick out of seeing something surprising over Zoom, something he wouldn’t have gotten over a phone call – my true face of the day following a jovial conversation.

Maybe I’m projecting, but something had the director of Night Watch and Wanted exclaiming in excitement. “You see!”

I could see his true joy for the screenlife format at that moment. I got to hear all about his passion for it during the interview, but seeing it, especially over Zoom, made the filmmaker’s love for the modern technique all the more tangible. The director’s belief in this format, which tells stories entirely through computer and phone screens, is strong.

He’s already produced several movies using screenlife, including Unfriended and one of the most original thrillers of the past few years, Searching. Now, Bekmambetov has directed his very own thriller using screenlife: Profile. It’s based on a true story about a journalist (played by Valene Kane) trying to infiltrate ISIS, to see how they recruit young women. Naturally, things go wrong.

Bekmambetov wants to push the boundaries of screenlife – and he thinks it is the future of moviemaking.

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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.

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profile trailer

Inspired by the 2015 nonfiction book In the Skin of a JihadistProfile takes the real story of ISIS recruitment to the screen. To the Screenlife format, specifically — the computer-screen “genre” that has been gaining recent popularity in films like Unfriended and SearchingWanted director Timur Bekmambetov, who produced both of those films, takes the helm of his own Screenlife film with the thriller Profile, which follows an undercover British journalist who attempts to expose a terrorist recruiter through social media, and finds herself in over her head.

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New Ice Cube Movie

Just two years ago, Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov said he was developing no less than 14 movies that would use his Screenlife screen capture technology to tell stories that unfolded across the screens of computers, tablets, and phones. This narrative format has already been used with the likes of Host, Searching, Unfriended, and the sequel, Unfriended: Dark Web, which Bekmambetov produced. Now he’s got a new screen capture movie being fast-tracked at Universal, and Ice Cube is set to star in it. Read More »

Wanted sequel screenlife

For years, Hollywood was considering making a sequel to Wanted, the 2008 film starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie as assassins who can curve a bullet’s trajectory in mid-air. And even though the movie came out more than a decade ago, it seems like the idea for a Wanted 2 isn’t dead just yet – at least, not in the mind of the first film’s director.

Timur Bekmambetov, the director of Wanted and the producer of films like Searching and Unfriended, now suggests that a Wanted sequel could be made using that same Screenlife technology utilized for his recent films. Read his comments below.
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Remote Filming During Coronavirus

As the coronavirus shuts down film and TV productions and cinemas (among many, many other businesses) around the world, director/producer Timur Bekmambetov is finding a way around social distancing restrictions to keep hope alive for his World War II film V2. Escape From Hell. A new report says the Russian filmmaker will continue production on his war epic remotely, directing his lead actor in a dogfight scene using the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform. And you’ll be able to watch the filming remotely, if you’re interested. Read More »

vertical format blockbuster

The vertical format, which is common for short-form videos on mobile platforms, is making the leap to the big screen — by making the screen painfully small. Searching producer Timur Bekmambetov is developing the world’s first vertical format blockbuster with a film that is very aptly titled V2. Escape From Hell. Except this is a hell that we can’t escape.

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computer screen movies

Computer screen movies – stuff like Unfriended and Searching – are becoming more and more popular, and we have one person to thank for that: Timur Bekmambetov. The filmmaker and producer is at the forefront of “Screenlife“, a technology that tells stories through computer screens. And Bekmambetov doesn’t plan on stopping – he’s currently developing 14 computer screen movies, across a variety of genres. The question is: does the general public want to see them?

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Ben-Hur will be Summer 2016's Biggest Box Office Bomb

Summer 2016 has seen a fair share of box office disappointments and bombs, but the biggest loser is Timur Bekmambetov‘s remake of Ben-Hur which will see a projected loss of over $120 million. Learn more about the biggest money losers of this summer, after the jump.
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Ben-Hur trailer

Some of Toby Kebbell‘s most prominent roles are the ones where he’s hidden behind CG and mo-cap magic: Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Dr. Doom in Fantastic Four, and most recently Durotan in Warcraft. But he’ll show his face for real later this summer in Timur Bekmambetov‘s re-adaptation of Ben-Hur, where he plays the duplicitous Messala to Jack Huston‘s Judah Ben-Hur.

If you’ve seen the William Wyler classic, you already know the story: Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince who’s forced into slavery thanks to the betrayal of his best friend, Roman officer Messala. Years later, Ben-Hur returns seeking revenge via chariot race. A new Ben-Hur trailer plays up the tragedy of Ben-Hur’s ordeal, while a new Ben-Hur featurette reveals the practical stunt work from the climactic chariot race sequence. Watch ’em both below.  Read More »