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.