Timur Bekmambetov hires development head

Former Uni international exec Michele Wolkoff joins company

In a move showing that Timur Bekmambetov is serious about producing and bringing new voices into film, the Russian filmmaker has hired Michele Wolkoff as president of development at his Bekmambetov Projects Ltd.

BPL is in production on sci-fi movie "The Darkest Hour," starring Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby and being directed by production designer-turned-director Chris Gorak. It also has several genre projects in development, including an adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." (Tim Burton and Jim Lemley also are producing "Lincoln.")

Wolkoff, previously director of development at Universal Pictures International, will oversee development for the company.

Wolkoff has overseen production of projects in Latin America, Australia, Asia and Russia. She also oversaw Bekmambetov's hit "Black Lightning," which has grossed more than $20 million in Russia. Her work in the international arena, and with directors such as Alfonso Cuaron and Fernando Meirelles, were factors in her getting hired by BPL, which is working on English- and foreign-language projects.

Wolkoff will work out of BPL's Los Angeles offices beginning in August.