Warner Bros. Taps Russia’s Fyodor Bondarchuk to Direct ‘Odysseus’

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Fyodor Bondarchuk, (left) director of “Stalingrad”, on set in a production still.

The filmmaker’s WWII epic “Stalingrad” grossed $66 million last year, the strongest performance ever by a Russian film.

MOSCOW — Fyodor Bondarchuk,  director of Russia’s highest grossing movie ever, Stalingrad, has been tapped to shoot his first Hollywood movie.

Bondarchuk has been hired by Warner Bros. to direct Odysseus, an epic adventure based on Homer’s poem of the return of a Greek king after the Trojan war.

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The movie, scripted by Jeremy Doner, is being producer by Gianni Nunnari (who produced Zack Snyder‘s 2006 epic of the battle of Thermopylae, 300) and Moscow-based producers Paul Heth and Michael Schlicht.

Bondarchuk’s all-action visual effects-rich 3D take on the WWII clash between Hitler’s forces and the Red Army, grossed more than $66 million on a budget of $30 million. The film’s success in the Chinese market, where it took $11 million is believed to be among the reasons Warner Bros. was keen on the director.

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Bondarchuk is the first Russian director to cross over to Hollywood since Timur Bekmanbetov was hired in 2008 by Universal to direct Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy.

Bondarchuk confirmed Wednesday to The Hollywood Reporter that he had been hired but declined to offer more details on location, cast or production schedule.

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