Showing its appetite for Russian fare, expanding UK outfit Arrow Films has swooped on UK rights to Central Partnership’s historical epic Viking, one of the biggest budget films in Russian history.
This is the fourth Russian title that Arrow has taken in the last 18 months, following on from war movie Battle For Moscow (aka Panfilov’s 28, which it will release later this summer), Battle For Sevastopol and Battalion.
Tom Stewart, acquisitions director of Arrow Films, told Screen that the company will be releasing Viking in its original Russian language version.
“There’s a strong appetite for this kind of genre,” Stewart said of Viking (which will look to piggy back on the success of TV drama Vikings).
Stewart has been tracking the project since it went into production and finally acquired it during last month’s Berlinale.
“This is very commercial for home entertainment and we know that VOD and pay TV will show interest in this subject matter as well”, he said. “There is a big audience for this particular area.”
Stewart points to Russia as a country making high end fare with strong production values, “particularly in the action/war genre.”
Central Partnership has also announced that Eagle Pictures will release Viking in Italy.
The UK and Italian deals follow on from sales already completed with Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Benelux, Czech and Slovak territories, former Yugoslavia, and with the deal signed for Latin America with California Filmes.
Viking, directed by Andrey Kravchuk and produced by Konstantin Ernst and Anatoly Maximov (the team behind Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch), was released in Russia on December 29th last year. The film has taken around $25m at the local and CIS box office.