Is vertical the new horizontal? Smartphone and tablet users (so basically everyone) would probably lean towards yes. Yet despite the format popularity on these two platforms, the look has also made it’s way into the realm of cinema as of late. Films like UNFRIENDED have utilized the vertical format and with lucrative results. The aforementioned UNFRIENDED only cost $1 million to make yet it made $63 million at the global box office. That’s a Hell of a return on your investment.
Well it appears as if the vertical format is about to get the blockbuster treatment thanks to Russian director Timur Bekmambetov. Bekmambetov (ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER) is credited as one of the creators of the “Screenlife” format. This format unfolds events from the perspective of a computer. The WANTED and NIGHT WATCH director will go full TikTok with his next feature film V2: ESCAPE FROM HELL. The $10 million flick will be a complete vertical exercise and is set to begin principal photography next week in Russia.
V2: ESCAPE FROM HELL with be released in two versions, one for the Russian market and one for English speakers. The WWII film will follow Mikhail Devyatayev, a captured Soviet pilot who leads an escape from a German concentration camp by hijacking an aircraft. V2: ESCAPE FROM HELL is based on real events and this month marks the 75th anniversary of the escape. Although this will be Bekmambetov’s first foray into a vertical format film, he’s well associated with the technique having produced 2018’s SEARCHING with John Cho. SEARCHING proved even more lucrative than UNFRIENDED, earning $75 million worldwide on a budget under $900,000.
So what do you guys think of this concept? Do you like the idea of an all vertical format blockbuster? Would Marvel or DC ever take a crack at something like this? Sound off in the comments below!