‘A Hidden Life’ Actor August Diehl Starring In $15M Russian Drama ‘Woland’

EXCLUSIVE: German actor August Diehl, whose credits include The Young Karl Marx, Inglourious Basterds and A Hidden Life, has signed on to play the lead role in big-budget Russian drama Woland.

The $15M project is a loose adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic novel The Master and Margarita, one of the most read books in Russia’s history. Michael Lockshin (Silver Skates) is directing from a screenplay by Roman Kantor and Michael Lockshinbased.

Starring alongside Diehl are Yulia Snigir and Evgeniy Tsyganov. Set in Moscow in the 1930s, the film will weave together the novel’s narrative with Bulgakov’s own history in Russia. It will follow a promising young writer who at the height of his career finds himself in the middle of a scandal of both literary and political nature – his new novel is being crushed by harsh idealistic critics, who say that his vivid depiction of Christ is unacceptable in the atheistic Soviet Union. Soon after, he meets a beautiful married woman by the name of Margarita and they fall in love. Inspired by those feelings, he begins writing a new novel.

Producers on the project are Ruben Dishdishyan, Leonard Blavatnik and Igor Tolstunov for production companies Mars Media, Amedia Production, and Profit. Filming is now underway, with a tentative release date of December 2022 set.

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Artists to have been inspired by The Master and Margarita include Mick Jagger, who wrote the song Sympathy for the Devil after reading it, and Patti Smith, who references Bulgakov’s portrayal of Pontius Pilate on her album Banga.

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