Master and Margarita Film Planned

Stone Village Pictures has optioned the film rights to late Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov’s once-banned novel “The Master and Margarita” says The Hollywood Reporter.

An inspiration for Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” ‘Master’ begins in pre-WWII Moscow, where the devil appears as a mysterious man who insinuates himself into a literary crowd. Amid a series of deaths and disappearances, the devil brings together the title characters, a despairing novelist and his devoted but married lover.

The story shifts to the setting of the master’s rejected novel, Jerusalem in the time of Pontius Pilate, and then to a supernatural world where Satanic forces have taken over Margarita’s life.

Roman Polanski adapted the novel in the late 1980s and was set to direct before Warner Bros. reportedly pulled the plug because of budgetary concerns. The book was adapted into a Russian TV miniseries in 2005.

Scott Steindorff will produce the new film and is hunting for a writer to adapt it from the uncensored manuscript (the original novel released in the mid-60’s was censored due to the text’s allusions to Stalin’s regime).