Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk (“The Inhabited Island”) will replace “Total Recall” and “Basic Instinct” helmer Paul Verhoeven at the helm of “Winter Queen” for Seven Arts Pictures says Screen Daily.
Bondarchuk makes his English language debut on the project based on the novel by Boris Akunin. Milla Jovovich remains attached to star as the female lead in the story of murder and high level conspiracy set against the backdrop of 19th century Russia.
Filming takes place in Budapest and St Petersburg in March and April, nearly two years after the project was originally slated to begin filming.
Bondarchuk will immediately follow that up with a $30 million epic about the infamous Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War for Art Pictures Studio.
That project will be readied for release in 2012, the 70th anniversary of the battle which claimed an estimated two million.