Director Timur Bekmambetov producing new Russian-U.S. disaster film

Konstantin Khabensky will play the spaceship's captain Pavel Belyayev. Source: BAZELEVS

Konstantin Khabensky will play the spaceship's captain Pavel Belyayev. Source: BAZELEVS

‘First Time’ tells story of world’s first spacewalk by cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.

The production company Bazelevs, founded by director and producer Timur Bekmambetov, the author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Day Watch and Unfriended, has started filming the Russian-American disaster movie First Time in collaboration with the Tretiy Rim studio.

The film is dedicated to cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first person to walk in space on March 18, 1965, the Bazelevs press service told RBTH.

The film is being directed by 33-year-old filmmaker Yury Bykov, who won the 2013 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Film Festival for the film Major, which also picked up awards at film festivals in France, Germany and Poland.

Yevgeny Mironov, an actor and the artistic director of Moscow's Theater of Nations, will star as legendary cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, while Konstantin Khabensky will play the spaceship's captain and Leonov's friend, Pavel Belyayev.

“When Yevgeny Mironov came to us with the idea of a film about the legendary flight, it sounded interesting at once, but after a meeting with Leonov, where he spent six hours telling the story of his amazing life, it became clear that it was simply impossible not to make a film about such a man,” said Bekmambetov.

First Time - Trailer. Source: YouTube

The picture will be completely filmed with stereo cameras and released in 3D. A team of Hollywood stereographers involved in the project is being led by Josh Fritts, who worked on the films The Amazing Spider-Man, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Fyodor Bondarchuk’s Russian war drama Stalingrad.

“The film attracted me, first of all, with its space theme. It is very interesting! Also, I seem to love Russia. My wife is Russian and I was pleased with the work on Stalingrad – it was unforgettable. But the thing that influenced my choice of this project is the captivating story,” said Fritts.

Scenes dealing with the presence of Leonov in outer space and the return of the cosmonauts to Earth are scheduled to be filmed in November. A full-size mock-up of the Voskhod-2 spaceship will be built for them.

The consultant of the film is Leonov himself, as well as the experts who prepared his flight.

According to the official chronicle, the flight of the spacecraft Voskhod-2 ended with the successful return of Leonov and Belyayev to Earth, but in reality, unforeseen situations began to emerge almost immediately after the start of the spacewalk.

“Already in the eighth minute, I felt that the phalanges of [my] fingers had come out of the left glove, and [my] feet were dangling freely in the boots; the spacesuit had started to deform,” said Leonov.

To return to the ship, the cosmonaut had to reel in a five-meter rope with the unbending gloves, but even by doing that, he would not have been able to enter the hatch in the bloated suit. Then, contrary to all instructions and at the risk of his own life, the cosmonaut depressurized the spacesuit.

This episode was only the beginning of the misfortunes that befell Leonov and his partner Belyayev on that day and for a long time remained classified.

The release of the film is scheduled for fall 2016.

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