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Gerard Depardieu is set to play a Russian prisoner of war commander in the Hungarian-scripted World War I drama It’s Showtime, Siberia!
The $15 million international co-production, to be shot by Academy Award nominated director Robert Dornhelm, features Sarah Bolger as a young musical prima donna and Jamie Campbell Bower as a conductor in a film that’s reviving the legend of an immensely popular 100-year-old musical stage show with a grim twist of Great War history.
Depardieu, who last year received a Russian passport, has played a number of Russian roles, including that of Rasputin, the early 20th century mystic in a French-Russian co-production of the same name.
Currently in prep, Siberia is expecting $2 million from Hungary’s national film fund, headed by the Budapest-born Hollywood producer Andy Vajna, plus around $1.9 million in Hungarian tax credits, besides equity from other local sources, Russia, Germany and Austria.
Due to shoot next year on location in Hungary, Germany and Austria for a 2016 release date, the film reprises the true story of one of the most successful ever Central European stage musicals — The Czardash Princess — that was re-created and performed by imprisoned soldiers in Siberian prisoner of war camps during the WWI.
“Our film is based on the real-life escapades of soldiers in a POW camp in distant Siberia who stage their very own version of the classic musical and do so largely from memory as flatfooted, bandy-legged blokes hop around the stage playing all the parts including those more typically reserved for genuine ladies,” said Peter Kalmar, the film’s Hungarian producer.
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