WASHINGTON, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – The dark history of Russia’s criminal gangs is headed for a Hollywood adaptation, as movie studio Warner Bros plans a drama inspired by the country’s notorious “vori v zakone” or “thieves-in-law,” an entertainment news website has reported.
Deadline.com described the movie “Vor V Zakone” as “…a drama that will trace the origins of organized crime in Russia” and which will feature a criminal leader rising “…to become the very person his brethren swore never to serve: the Tsar himself,” in a story on Wednesday.
“Thieves-in-law” refers to the upper echelon of Russia’s criminal world and the leaders inside the Soviet Union’s prison camps. Heavily tattooed and following their own hierarchies and codes of behavior, they opposed Soviet conformity and lived by crime whenever not imprisoned.
The movie is the brainchild of producer Michael Andreen, described by Deadline as a “longtime studio exec.”
Screenwriter Andrew Sodroski previously lived in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and majored in history at Harvard, the website reported.
Mainstays of Russian popular entertainment since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian mob has been the subject of other American movies, including the 2007 film “Eastern Promises,” directed by Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg, and the 2001 documentary “Mark of Cain,” which probed the meanings of Russian criminal tattoos.