John Malkovich is anything but predictable. Who would’ve thought that the two time Oscar nominee for “In The Line Of Fire” and “Places In The Heart,” the memorable star of such films as “The Killing Fields,” “Dangerous Liasons” and of course, “Being John Malkovich” would wind up as an eccentric throwaway bit player in Michael Bay‘s “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon“? (And wind up being the best thing about the movie in the process). Even though the actor has been taking some steps toward the mainstream lately with middling results — “Red,” “Jonah Hex,” “Beowulf” — and slumming it in C-pictures like “Eragon” and “Mutant Chronicles” (geez, who do you owe money to?) it looks like the thesp is lining up something worth his talent.
John Malkovich is set to star in Italian director Gabriele Salvatores’ (“I’m Not Scared” and the 1992 Oscar-winning “Mediterraneo“) exposé of the Siberian criminal underworld. Based on the best-selling autobiography by Russian writer Nicolai Lilin, which has been adapted by Stefano Rulli, Sandro Petraglia and Salvatores, ‘’Siberian Education’’ is the coming-of-age story of the writer as a member of the Mafia-like Urkas in Transnistria, a remote region between Moldova and Ukraine.
Set in Southern Russia between 1985 and 1995, the last years of the Soviet Union, and in a world where crime is pervasive, Malkovich will play the role of Grandfather Kuzja, who teaches his grandson Kolyma (Arnas Fedaravicius) “the morals of ‘honest criminals'” and the rituals of this bizarre and violent community.
Kind of sounds like a riff on “Gomorrah” which certainly isn’t a bad thing. The movie will roll in front of cameras in Lithuania and Italy in August. —Laura-Alexandra Vrabie