Timur Bekmambetov

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Timur Bekmambetov
Timur Bekmambetov by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Timur Bekmambetov in March 2012
Native name Темір Нұрбақытұлы Бекмамбетoв
Born Timur Nuruakhitovich Bekmambetov
(1961-06-25) June 25, 1961 (age 55)
Atyrau, Kazakhstan
Citizenship Kazakhstan, Russia
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter

Timur Nuruakhitovich Bekmambetov (Russian: Тиму́р Нуруахи́тович Бекмамбе́тов, pronounced [tʲɪˈmur nʊrʊɐˈxʲitəvʲɪt͡ɕ bʲɪkmɐmˈbʲetəf]; Kazakh: Темір Нұрбақытұлы Бекмамбетoв, pronounced [ti̯ɘˈmʊr.nʊrbɑˈqətʊlə.bi̯ɘkmɑmˈbi̯ɘtu̯ʊv]; born June 25, 1961) is a Kazakh director, producer and screenwriter who has worked on films, music videos and commercials.[1] He is best known for the film Night Watch (2004) and its sequel Day Watch (2006), and the American films Wanted (2008) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012).

Early life[edit]

Bekmambetov was born on 25 June 1961, in the city of Atyrau.[2] At the age of 19, he moved to Tashkent, Uzbek SSR to study at the Alexander Ostrovsky Theatrical and Artistic Institute, from which he graduated in 1987 with a degree in theater and cinema set design. It was during this period that Bekmambetov served in the Soviet Army, which inspired him to write Peshavar Waltz.[3]

Film and television career[edit]

Between 1992 to 1997, Bekmambetov was one of the directors of Bank Imperial's award-winning popular World History commercials. In 1994, he founded Bazelevs Group, an advertising and films production, distribution and marketing company.

Bekmambetov's first feature, Peshavar Waltz, (1994)[4] was a violent and realistic look at the war between the USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Afghanistan. The film was dubbed in English as Escape from Afghanistan and released direct-to-video by Roger Corman in 2002. Bekmambetov next produced and directed an eight-parts miniseries for television entitled Our '90s. Bekmambetov then returned to directing features, with Roger Corman produced The Arena (2001), which starred Karen McDougal and Lisa Dergan. The film was a remake of The Arena (1974 film) as the same name. In 2001, Bekmambetov directed and co-produced (with Bahyt Kilibayev) the film GAZ-Russian Cars.

Bekmambetov in 2009.

In 2004, Bekmambetov wrote and directed Night Watch (2004), a popular Russian fantasy film based on the book by Sergey Lukyanenko. The film was extremely successful in Russia, and at the time became its highest-grossing released ever never, making US$16.7 million in Russia alone, more than The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The sequel to Night Watch, Day Watch (2006), was likewise written and directed by Bekmambetov. The two films attracted the attention of Fox Searchlight Pictures, which paid $4 million to acquired worldwide distribution rights (excluding Russia and the Baltic states).[5][6]

Bekmambetov followed up Day Watch (2006) with The Irony of Fate 2 (2007). This sequel to the famous Soviet's film The Irony of Fate (1971) is the one of the most successful in Russian history, second to Avatar in total box office receipts.

Bekmambetov's Hollywood directorial debut, Wanted (2008), an action fiction blockbuster about a secret society of assassins, was based on a comic-book miniseries of the same name created by Mark Millar and J. G. Jones.[7]

Bekmambetov has also produced a number of films in the U.S. and Russia. 9 (2009), the story of a rag doll in a post-apocalyptic world, was directed by Shane Acker and produced by Bekmambetov, Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. Bekmambetov also produced the action movie Black Lightning (2009), the first Russian-language superhero film, with Universal Pictures.[8]

In 2010, Bekmambetov produced and was one of the directors of Yolki a.k.a. "The Six Degrees to Celebration" (English title) which became the second highest-grossing Russian movie in Russian box office history. In February 2011 Bazelevs released the Bekmambetov-produced Vykrutasy (a.k.a. "Lucky Trouble" (English title) starring Milla Jovovich and Konstantin Khabensky).[9]

Bekmambetov meeting visitors on premiere of film «9», May 2009, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

In 2011, Bekmambetov produced Apollo 18,[10] along with The Weinstein Company, a found footage science fiction thriller, and The Darkest Hour,[11] a science fiction film set in Moscow and produced by New Regency.

In 2012, Bekmambetov directed and produced the live action adaption of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter,[12] also produced by Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. He was awarded the International Filmmaker of the Year award in 2012 by the National Association of Theatre Owners.[13]

In 2013, Variety (Russian Edition) named Bekmambetov one of the most commercially successful Russian directors of the decade. He was placed on top of the list ($137.1M Gross) with Feiodor Bondarchuk ($53.47M Gross), Sarik Andreasyan ($42.92M Gross), Pyotr Buslov ($42.21M Gross) and Marius Weisberg ($36.85M Gross).[14]


Year Film Credited as
Director Producer Screenwriter
1994 Peshavar Waltz Yes Yes
2001 The Arena Yes
2004 Night Watch Yes Yes
2006 Day Watch Yes Yes
2007 The Irony of Fate 2 Yes Yes
2008 Wanted Yes
2009 9 Yes
2009 Black Lightning Yes
2010 Six Degrees of Celebration Yes Yes
2011 Lucky Trouble Yes
2011 Apollo 18 Yes
2011 The Darkest Hour Yes
2011 Kikoriki. Team Invincible Yes
2012 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Yes Yes
2012 The Snow Queen Yes
2014 Squirrels Yes Yes
2015 Hardcore Henry Yes
2015 The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King Yes
2015 Unfriended Yes
2016 Ben-Hur Yes
2017 First Time Yes

See also[edit]

Music videos[edit]


External links[edit]