Fanboy Comics Interviews Writer/Director Ilya Naishuller on ‘Hardcore’

The following is an interview with writer/director Ilya Naishuller on his upcoming action/adventure film, Hardcover, which will star Sharlto Copley (District 9, Maleficent). In this interview, Naishuller chats with Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon about how he came to direct the film, what makes the perspective of the film so unique, and the collaborative efforts of the entire cast and crew.  In addition, be sure to check out the full press release regarding the production of Hardcore, as well as a preview trailer, available below.


Barbra J. Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: Congratulations on your upcoming film, Hardcore! For our readers who may be unfamiliar with the project, how would you describe the film?

Ilya Naishuller: Thank you! Hardcore is the world’s first-ever action/adventure film to be shot 100% from the hero’s perspective. It’s an exhilarating experience of a film that I shot in Moscow, Russia, starring District 9’s Sharlto Copley. It also has a strong sci-fi component, with Henry (our hero) being a resurrected cyborg.

BD: Your attachment as director to the project occurred in a very interesting manner. How did you come to direct Hardcore and what makes your vision for the film unique?

IN: I directed a music video for my band, Biting Elbows, called "Bad Mother******" and, upon its release, it got quite a bit of attention. Timur Bekmambetov, the director of the Night Watch series and Wanted, offered to produce a feature-length film to be shot in the same P.O.V. style of "Bad Mofo." At first, I politely declined thinking that it’s one thing to watch 5 mins on YouTube and another to watch 100 minutes up on the big screen. Timur said that he’d love to see a P.O.V. film in a cinema and that he felt if anyone could do it right, it’s me and that I should think about some more. After about a fortnight of deliberation, I came to the conclusion that provided I was in complete control of this project, I could make it work. I have three passions in life: music; games; and, most of all, film. Hardcore is my love letter to all three.

My vision for the film centered around 8 rules that I had to follow to make a P.O.V. movie enjoyable. We started shooting last July and by the time the shoot was over, I had purposefully broken 3 of those rules.

BD: In addition to your work on the project, you have had the support of a talented cast and crew. Can you tell us about the process of working with the creative team and the contributions of these individuals?

IN: I was very lucky to have the people that I did. The creative energy was a wonder to behold. A lot of these people do not often get a chance to work on a sci-fi action thriller, for the Russian industry is rather limited. It was a joy to see them go wild. The trick is to get talented and hard-working individuals and let them do their thing. As a director, my job is to simply steer the ship that is constantly being upgraded by the sailors and beaten by the waters. Design wise, there was a lot of concept art involved, with the most demanding challenge being to find a perfect balance between the real world and the sci-fi elements. Sharlto especially was a pleasure to work with. He’s a really hard worker who gave the film his all, each and every day.

BD: Being that we focus on all things “geek” at Fanboy Comics, would you care to geek out with us about your favorite sci-fi films?

IN: Sure! I am a big fan of intelligent sci-fi, (Phillip K. Dick is my favorite author.), so my favorite sci-fi film would be Blade Runner, though I prefer to look at it more like it’s a piece of art, a living painting, rather than a film. The first two Alien films are spectacular. Verhoeven’s Total Recall, Robocop, and Starship Troopers are some that I seem to revisit often. I think Verhoeven understands how to perfectly mix sci-fi with action and comedy.

BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Hardcore?

IN: I’d like to thank them for their interest and divert them to – it’ll take them to our indiegogo campaign page, where I think they’ll be able to find most of their questions answered.



Film Director Ilya Nashuiller & Actor Sharlto Copley Invite Fans of Bad Mother****** Viral Hit To Crowdfund & Complete Movie.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Monday, November 3rd 2014) – Papillon Pictures and Bazelevs are pleased to announce that the next phase of Hardcore, a highly ambitious Sci-­‐Fi Action movie starring Sharlto Copley (District 9, Maleficent) and written/directed by Ilya Naishuller, is now under way. As the spiritual successor to the award-­‐winning Biting Elbows’ Bad Mother****** music video which attracted 40 million views1, Hardcore is the first “Point-­‐Of-­‐View (P.O.V.) Action” movie shot entirely from the hero’s perspective. With Hardcore just wrapped on principal photography, Ilya shared a sneak preview and invitation to fans today to help crowdfund and complete the genre-­‐defining movie experience for the big screen in 2015.

Last spring filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted) approached Ilya to produce a movie version of Biting Elbows’ Bad Mother******. Ilya took on the challenge to write and direct Hardcore shooting almost completely on GoPro cameras and unique camera rigs with his crew. The result is a brand new and highly visceral experience packed with explosions, stunt work, and death-­‐defying parkour chases, all from the hero’s perspective.

In partnership with Indiegogo as its funding platform, Ilya and Sharlto are empowering fans to help contribute to post-­‐production and set the bar high for the final cut of Hardcore. Funds will be dedicated to completing the computer-­‐generated effects, as well as sound design and mix. For the campaign, they announced a minimum goal of $250,000 to be reached by December 3rd 2014. Contributor perks will range from exclusive Autographed GoPro cameras from the set, Limited Camera Rigs, Fan-­‐Contributed Posters in the final film, special Hardcore Russian Ushanka Trooper Hats and a digital copy of the movie. Fans can contribute to Hardcore now at

“Hardcore is a love letter to the films and video games that have inspired me and was created as a way to say ‘thank you’ to all of the passionate fans who supported us and asked to see more in the style of Bad Mother******,” said writer/director Ilya Naishuller. “The crew and I were incredibly humbled and motivated to work hard, not only to make this vision a reality but to deliver the most unique experience from beginning to end. The film was really born on the internet, so I’m grateful to be able to take this back to our community and Indiegogo, their help will make Hardcore truly special.”

Timur Bekmambetov, producer and acclaimed filmmaker added, “Digital continues to change the face of entertainment as seen in the tremendous response to Ilya’s breakout music video. It’s been a great ride to collaborate and see Ilya grow as a next-­‐generation filmmaker. Fans waiting for Hardcore will not be disappointed.”

Produced by Timur Bekmambetov, Ekaterina Kononenko and Inga Vainshtein, and written/directed by Ilya Naishuller, Hardcore is an English-­‐language feature filmed in Moscow, Russia, with an international cast. Starring Sharlto Copley (District 9, Maleficent), Danila Kozlovsky (Legend No.17) and Haley Bennett (The Equalizer) the movie is seen entirely through the eyes of the hero. The story follows Henry who is resurrected as a cyborg in a laboratory by his wife and creator, Estelle. As a renegade military group disrupts their union and kidnaps Estelle, Henry sets off on a warpath with the help of a mysterious stranger named Jimmy, to bring down Akan, a ruthless cyber-­‐tech visionary, who leads his prisoners and the rest of the world down the path of an apocalyptic end.

To find out more about Hardcore and to contribute, go to:


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