When you can’t assemble a crew for your movie because of COVID-19 restrictions, you do the next best thing: film your movie with the help of a video game. That’s what Timur Bekmambetov, director of Wanted, Searching, and Unfriended is doing, using Gaijin Entertainment’s War Thunder as an aid to filming World War II air combat sequences.
Bekmambetov’s film is titled V2. Escape from Hell, and it tells the story of Soviet fighter pilot Mikhail Devyatayev, who escaped from a concentration camp in a stolen Nazi airplane. He filmed an air battle that employed “the best War Thunder pilots, participants of the international aerobatic festivals,” who played the game with lead actor Pavel Priluchny. After the battle sequences, Gaijin provided replays of the action to the CG team to incorporate into the film.
V2. Escape from Hell will be released in 2021 and will be the “first vertical format blockbuster to be released for smartphone viewing,” thus making it “the first movie about World War II designed for GenZ,” according to Bekmambetov. That’s a bold claim and vision, but when you’re already thinking far enough outside the box to use a video game to film your battle sequences, you might as well go all-out.