Published: Sat, July 22, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Putin cut from 2 upcoming Hollywood movies due to hacking concerns

Putin cut from 2 upcoming Hollywood movies due to hacking concerns

Despite the popularity of Russia-themed movie blockbusters these days, filmmakers are reportedly reluctant to depict the country's president, Vladimir Putin, over fears that his so-called "patriotic hackers" could take revenge by launching cyberattacks in retaliation. Putin barely had a role in the movie's source material-about the romance between a Russian ballerina-turned-spy and a Central Intelligence Agency agent (played in the film by Joel Edgerton), set against an espionage backdrop.

EuropaCorp's Kursk, which is about a Russian submarine that sank in the Barents Sea in 2000, also won't feature Putin despite his appearance in the book it's based on.

Putin has dominated Russia's political landscape and greatly expanded his power during the last 17 years. From studios looking to incorporate the current Kremlin obsession into plotlines to writers taking secret meetings with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev about potential projects, there's a new Red Dawn rising in Hollywood.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he might decide to stay in office for life.

Ajay Arora, CEO of the security firm Vera that advises Hollywood studios, explains the inherent risk of featuring Putin in films. "That's a certain way to be targeted [for retaliation]", he added. "The political climate is so much more fluid, nuanced and chaotic, and good screenplays and stories are reflecting that".

But Grandview Management's Jeff Silver said Russian Federation will be the hot topic for the next few years in the movie industry.

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It's a path already well-worn.

But Russian adversaries are back and will be featured in a number of forthcoming sequels. This concern is warranted, because the USA government believed North Korea was behind the 2014 Sony hack due to the studio's portrayal of Kim Jong-Un in The Interview.

When asked whether he had a presidential successor in mind, Putin did not name any names, saying that choice would be up to the Russian people. MGM declined comment on the direction of the next saga.

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Presidential terms were extended from four to six years in 2011, only a year before Putin emerged victorious in the presidential race.

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