New film production and financing entity Primeridian Entertainment has set Cyrus Nowrasteh to direct a bipoic of famed Soviet dissident and Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Russian film producer, actor and director Arcadiy Golubovich and producer Tim O'Hair are launching their venture in Cannes, with an eye to investing in and producing two to four films a year. Primeridian is represented by CAA.
A Solzhenitsyn biopic is a natural fit for Primeridian, considering Golubovich's roots. Primeridian has optioned the rights to D.M. Thomas' acclaimed biography Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life. Nowrasteh will pen the adapted script with his wife, Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh.
"It's a privilege to tell the courageous story of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn," said Nowrasteh, whose credits include The Stoning of Soraya M. and The Day Reagan Was Shot. "Millions suffered and died in the Soviet labor camps. As a survivor, he resolved to tell the world about it. The power of his pen, despite the suppression of his work and every effort to silence his voice, helped bring about the downfall of one of the greatest tyrannies mankind has ever known.”
Added Golubovich: "We have long been attracted to the complex and remarkable life of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who had a significant impact on the Soviet Union. As a Russian nonconformist and activist as well as a towering literary figure, Solzhenitsyn's life makes for a compelling feature film, and we are thrilled to be bringing Cyrus' talent on board to weave this fascinating story."
Solzhenitsyn was a Red Army officer who, after being accused of anti-Soviet propaganda, was imprisoned by Stalin in the gulag system in February of 1945. His confinement became the basis for The Gulag Archipelago, a three-volume book narrating his experiences in the Soviet forced labor camp system. After being expelled from the former Soviet Union in 1974, he lived in exile in Vermont until he was able to return to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the mid-1990s. He died in 2008.