Putin Character Excised From “Sparrow,” “Kursk”

Russian president Vladimir Putin has found himself removed as a character from two upcoming major studio features according to THR. His removal is partly said to be over concern regarding Russian hackers who might protest.

The first is Francis Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow” starring Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian spy wooed by the CIA to be a double agent and based on former CIA officer Jason Matthews’ novel.

Putin had a key role in the book but was dropped when the project chose to change its setting from modern-day Russia to 1970s Budapest. When Lawrence came on board, it returned back to its original contemporary setting but didn’t restore Putin as a character.

Additionally, Putin is missing from EuropaCorp’s true story film “Kursk” about the Russian submarine that sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea in 2000. Putin appears in early versions of the screenplay along with Robert Moore’s novel “A Time to Die” upon which the film is based.

Ajay Arora, CEO of security firm Vera tells the trade: “For a studio to release a movie about Putin that makes him look like a fool would be suicide. That’s a certain way to be targeted [for retaliation].”

Even so, Russia is a hot topic again for filmmaking with numerous projects in development trying to depict the current and constantly changing situation with the country and its political climate.