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Hot TV Spot: ‘The Darkest Hour’

Summit Entertainment posted a TV spot for the alien-invasion movie The Darkest Hour. Directed by onetime art director/production designer Chris Gorak and starring Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby and Max Minghella, the Moscow-set sci-fi thriller opens Christmas Day.

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‘MI4′ & ‘Tintin’ Tweak Xmas Week Dates

Spielberg Moves ‘War Horse’ Release Amid DreamWorks Money Woes

Paramount said today that it is shifting the release dates for two of its prime holiday movies. Now, the Steven Spielberg-directed The Adventures of Tintin and the Tom Cruise-starrer Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will both open in wide release (including IMAX) on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Mission: Impossible always had that date, but today it was revealed that the actioner will begin previews in select theaters and IMAX on Friday, Dec. 16. Meanwhile, the studio had slated Tintin for a Dec. 23 bow but has moved the motion-capture pic up a bit into the midweek spot.

The week leading up to Christmas has always been a plum one for the studios, but the year it is particularly crazy. In addition to Mission: Impossible, Sony has slotted its big David Fincher action drama The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for Wednesday. Meanwhile, Fox’s Cameron Crowe pic We Bought a Zoo bows wide Friday along with the platform debut of the Angelina Jolie-directed In the Land of Blood and Honey. On Christmas Day is Spielberg’s just-shifted War Horse, from DreamWorks/Touchstone/Disney; Summit’s sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour; and Warner Bros’ limited release of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Darkest Hour’

Mike Fleming

Summit Entertainment has released a trailer for The Darkest Hour, an alien invasion movie that focuses on a group of kids on holiday in Moscow when crazy things begin happening. The Chris Gorak-directed pic stars Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby and Max Minghella. It will be released Dec. 23.

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Summit Changes ‘Darkest Hour’ Date

By | Friday April 1, 2011 @ 6:53pm PDT

Summit Entertainment said it is moving back the release date of its sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour from Aug. 11 to the holidays: Dec. 23. The film is directed by Chris Gorak and stars Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby.

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‘Darkest Hour’ Starts Up Again August 29

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment and New Regency suspended filming earlier this month because of wildfires raging in Russia. More than 50 people have been killed and more than 2,000 homes destroyed after an unprecedented heat wave and drought gripped the region. Prior to shutdown The Darkest Hour was filming using the 3D technology of Timur Bekmambetov’s Moscow-based film, commercial, and effects company Bazelevs. Summit is set to release the film on August 5 2011. Chris Gorak is the director and Tom Jacobson the producer. Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachel Taylor, Max Minghella and Joel Kinnaman star in this story of four tourists fighting for their lives in Moscow following an alien attack.

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‘Darkest Hour’ Halted Due To Russian Fires

I just heard that Summit Entertainment and New Regency are declaring “force majeure” because of the two-week shutdown of the 3D film. The wildfires have been raging in Russia killing at least 52 people and displacing tens of thousands of others after an unprecedented heat wave and drought gripped the region this summer. Moscow has been shrouded in smoke from a burning peat bog, and pollution levels are so high that experts say breathing has become as dangerous as smoking several packs of cigarettes a day. The Darkest Hour was supposed to shoot entirely on location in Moscow throughout the late summer and use the most cutting-edge 3D technology of producer Timur Bekmambetov’s Moscow-based film, commercial, and effects company Bazelevs. At the end of shooting Thursday evening, cast and crew were told that filming would be suspended because smoke in the area had made shooting exterior scenes impossible. An insider emails me, “The cast and crew were assured that the production would be completed.”

Summit Entertainment issued this statement: “On any production, the health and safety of the actors and crew is of primary concern. The potential health issues and spread of fire has forced the production to be put on hold for two weeks in order to allow things to stabilize in the area. We do not foresee this temporary stoppage of filming effecting the film’s wrap date as we always build contingencies into a production schedule to account for unforeseen situations.”

Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella, Olivia Thirlby, … Read More »

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Timur Bekmambetov Taps Michele Wolkoff To Run Production Shingle

Mike Fleming

Michele Wolkoff is leaving her post as director of development for Universal Pictures International to become president of development for Timur Bekmambetov’s Bekmambetov Projects Ltd. She starts next month.

Wolkoff’s emphasis will be to build the output of Bekmambetov’s English language productions. He’s also a prolific producer of Russian lingo films. She will oversee development of projects that include an adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the Seth-Grahame Smith novel that could be Timur’s next directing project and first since Wanted. Bekmanbetov is producing that with Tim Burton and Jim Lemley and it hasn’t yet been set at a studio. She will also be liason for The Darkest Hour, the New Regency thriller that is currently underway in Russia.

Wolkoff met Bekmambetov at Universal, where she oversaw production of projects in Latin America, Australia, Asia and Russia. Bekmambetov has been the catalyst for films in the latter territory, and she oversaw that partnership between his company and Universal. Wolkoff shepherded the hit Black Lightning, which has grossed  over $20 million in Russia. An English language remake is planned.  She started at the studio as Stacey Snider’s assistant and was brought over to international by David Linde.

“Timur has an amazing facility in Russia, and we want to be able to increase the English language slate to two or three films per year,” she told me.

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