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WIRE Buzz: IFC Midnight to launch Sputnik; Alex Rider to be renewed; Hanna S2 trailer

By Josh Weiss

IFC Midnight has scooped up the North American distribution rights to director Egor Abramenko's feature debut, Sputnik. The movie is based on Abramenko's 2017 short, The Passenger.

Set at the height of the Cold War, the Russian horror flick, with a sci-fi twist, begins when a Soviet spacecraft crash lands in the USSR after a mission goes awry. The accident leaves only one survivor, but cosmonaut Konstantin Sergeyevich (Pyotr Fyodorov) isn't alone, having brought back a life-form that is not of this world. Tatiana Yurievna (Oksana Akinshina), a doctor on the verge of losing her license, is recruited by the military to examine Konstantin and the nocturnal alien living inside him. She wants to stop the thing from killing its host, while the military plans to use it as a weapon.

The film draws its title from the famous Soviet satellite that kicked off the Space Race in 1957.

SPUTNIK Official Trailer (2020) Alien Horror Movie

"Due to the ever-large shadow of influence and importance cast by Ridley Scott's Alien, extraterrestrial malevolence in genre cinema more often than not feels as if it's been beamed down directly from the Nostromo," says the release. "Sputnik bucks that tradition of pastiche and delivers something fresh to the interplanetary monster-movie canon."

Originally set to premiere at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, Sputnik (written by Oleg Malovichko and Andrei Zolotarev) will make contact with digital and VOD Friday, August 14.

Sony's TV adaptation of Alex Rider is all but confirmed for a second season, Deadline reports. The series is hoping to get back into production later this year. Obviously, nothing is set in stone yet, as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on schedules for live-action film and television projects.

Amazon exclusively premiered the series in the U.K. earlier this month, but Sony is reportedly close to finding distribution partners in the U.S., Australia, and China.

Based on the 12 novels by Anthony Horowitz, Alex Rider is a Kingsman-like tale about a teenage boy (Otto Farrant) who is thrust into a world of espionage when his uncle goes missing. Brenock O'Connor, Stephen Dillane, Vicky McClure, Ace Bhatti, Nyasha Hatendi, Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo, Marli Siu, Earl Cave, Katrin Vankova, and Nathan Clarke co-star on the show, which was written by Bletchley's Guy Burt.

"The series will probably benefit from the fact that adults don't have the bandwidth at the moment to cope with much more than it offers," wrote Lucy Mangan in her review for The Guardian. "With any luck, it will buy Alex Rider time to find its feet, decide on its audience and fully realize the vision that floats just underneath the spectacle."

And speaking of second seasons, Amazon dropped the first trailer for the sophomore outing of Hanna this morning by way of Entertainment Weekly.

In the upcoming batch of eight, one-hour episodes, the titular super-assassin (played by Esme Creed-Miles) finds herself in "the Meadows," a top secret training facility run by shady government agency Utrax. The main character is supposed to dismantle the organization from the inside, but it seems like she'll get seriously sidetracked by a revelations about where she comes from.

Take a look:

Created by David Farr, Hanna's small screen iteration is based on Joe Wright's 2011 film of the same name, which starred Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana. The show features the acting talents of Áine Rose Daly, Gianna Kieh, Dermot Mulroney, and Mireille Enos.

Season 2 premieres on Prime Video Friday, July 3.