Beloved Russian romcom The Irony of Fate is getting a Hollywood remake, shifting the action from the Soviet suburbs to the United States.
Traditionally watched on New Year’s Eve across the post-Soviet space, the premise of the original 1976 film is a satirical take on uniform Soviet urban planning. It follows Zhenia, played by actor Andrey Myagkov, who, after a banya drinking session, goes on the plane instead of his friend, and arrives at a flat in a different city that he mistakes for his own. However, he discovers “his” apartment belongs to someone else — although luckily, that someone is the charming Nadya, played by Polish actress Barbara Brylska.
Directed by Russian comedy filmmaker Maryus Vaysberg, the new American film, titled About Fate, will feature the Holidate and Unfabulous star Emma Roberts and Fargo’s Thomas Mann. About Fate will be produced by Vladimir Koshelev, Vincent Newman, and Marina Bespalova, while the screenwriter of Holidate and Nancy Drew, Tiffany Paulsen, will adapt the script. The filming will start in Boston in June.
“I am extremely excited that our Soviet cultural heritage will become an asset of the entire world,” Vaysberg says. “I have been working on this project for years and, finally, thanks to [producer] Vladimir Koshelev, we were able to create a brilliant screenplay.”
Yet reimagining the 1976 original, first directed by Eldar Ryazanov, will not be without its challenges — including the film’s many subtle references to Soviet and Russian culture. As well as leaning heavily on the identical, pre-fab homes and neighbourhoods that shaped Soviet post-war cities, one famous scene sees Barbara Brylska sing the verse of one of Russia’s great Silver Age poets, Marina Tsvetaeva.