Filmmakers Confirm Meeting with Mel Gibson on Armenia Film

A screenshot from "East of Byzantium"

YEREVAN—Asbarez has confirmed that Mel Gibson and Mikayel Israyelyan have met and discussed East of Byzantium with Los Angeles Based filmaker Roger Kupelian. This follows the announcement by the Armenian President Serzh Sarkissian about the same project, made earlier this month.Gibson’s interest in doing a project on an Armenian history was initiated by Mikayel Israyelyan, who is a good friend of the acclaimed Director. The CEO of Muse Lifestyle Group set up the recent meeting between Gibson, Kupelian and writer Walt Kirn (who wrote the story for Clooney’s “Up in the Air”). Although the meeting was very positive, it was still preliminary (Gibson is looking to direct a Viking film this year, called “Berserker”).

Israyelyan was approached some months ago by President Sarkissian’s representatives to do a film on Vartanank. Israyelyan is excited to bring Roger Kupelian on board to collaborate with the team (Since Kupelian had already been developing East of Byzantium). Israyelyan, originally from Armenia, had presented Gibson with Kupelian’s extensive materials, and this had prompted the meeting.

Kupelian’s East of Byzantium chronicles the history of Armenians from the adoption of Christianity as its state religion in 301 AD to the Battle of Avarayr in 451 AD

East of Byzantium was conceived in New Zealand in 2002, when Kupelian was working on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The script made the rounds in Hollywood and released a trailer. Recently, the first graphic novel inspired by East of Byzantium, War Gods, was successfully released and is currently being translated into Spanish.

“Armenian culture needs to embrace warrior-code based identity over one that focuses on its victimization, and this project that I have personally financed over the course of ten years has been shaped by that ideal,” said Kupelian.

Established in 2006, Fugitive Studios Entertainment was created by Roger Kupelian and his partners as a way to bring East of Byzantium and similar independent projects to quality widespread release, in a variety of media. Having honed its expertise by also producing quality visual effects and development work for mainstream entertainment, as well as a series of music videos for System of A Down’s frontman, Serj Tankian, Fugitive Studios Entertainment is now focusing on bringing the series of Kupelian’s graphic novels to a wider audience.
Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

14 Comments

  1. John Markarian said:

    God Bless Mel Gibson. I guess the right wing Jews wanted to get back at him for the Passion of the Christ and he was unwise enough to fall for the trap of the Jewish temptress.

  2. John Markarian said:

    There was nothing anti-semitic about the Passion of the Christ. The poor guy got drunk and said a few things she should not have and they punish him for eternity.

  3. VAHAKEN BEDROSSIAN said:

    IT IS GOOD NEWS FOR THE ARMENIANS THAT THE BATTLE OF AVARAYR WILL BE SHOWN IN A MOVIE, AND ESPECIALLY PLAYED BY MEL GIBSON WHO HAS PLAYED THE MOVIE “BRAVEHEART” IN THE PAST, AND WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL.
    BUT ON THE OTHER HAND WE SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT IT IS WELL PREPARED AND IS NOT OUTRAGEOUSLY UNREALISTIC AS THE LATEST VERSION OF THE MOVIE “300” SO THAT IT WILL NOT UPSET THE IRANIANS, NOW THAT THEY HAVE GOOD RELATIUONS WITH ARMENIA.

  4. Arman said:

    God bless this great and worthy endeavor. WE MUST BEGIN RAISING FUNDS FOR THIS VITAL ARTISTIC CREATION WITH ALL DELIBERATE SPEED AND VIGOUR, AND ENSURE THAT NO OBSTACLES BE ALLOWED TO DERAIL ITS SUCCESSFUL FRUITION. THIS WILL ONLY ENCOURAGE THE FILMMAKERS TO TAKE THE BOLD STEP AND GO AHEAD WITH THIS UNIQUE PROJECT. EXTRAS, COSTUMES, SCRIPTS, SCREENPLAYS, SPECIAL EFFECTS/COMPUTER GRAPHICS EXPERTS MUST BEGIN TO BE ASSEMBLED EVEN AS WE ARE RAISING FUNDS. THE CREATION OF THIS FILM MUST BE A GOAL OF THE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE FOR THE ARMENIAN NATION AND ALL RESOURCES MUST BE DIVERTED TO ITS SUCCESSFUL REALIZATION. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

  5. Chekijian said:

    Compliments to Roger Kupelian for an inspiring Vision and Mission. I hope his next epic movie would focus on King Dikran The Great who built an empire stretching from the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, The Mediterranean Sea to (and including) Egypt. Then on his own initiative and against the wishes of his sons and and wife (who tried to kill him!) giving most of the empire he created, as a gift, to the Romans (including Queen Cleopatra of Egypt). He must have been one of the foremost strategists in history, because as a result, the Romans never fought the Armenians for the next four centuries of the Roman Empire… all due to King Dikran The Great, whose story is more interesting in many respects than Alexander The Greats.

  6. Chekijian said:

    Compliments to Roger Kupelian for an inspiring Vision and Mission,

    I hope his next epic movie would focus on King Dikran The Great who built an empire stretching from the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, The Mediterranean Sea to (and including) Egypt. Then on his own initiative and against the wishes of his two sons and wife (who tried to kill him!) gave most of the empire he created, as a gift, to the Romans (including Queen Cleopatra of Egypt). He must have been one of the foremost strategists in history, because as a result, the Romans never fought the Armenians for the next four centuries of the Roman Empire… all due to King Dikran The Great, whose escapades are more awe-inspiring and interesting in many respects than Alexander The Greats and “Indiana Jones” combined!.

  7. Jack said:

    This looks like an awesome project and hope it becomes a success, I look forward to see it on the big screen in a few years. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to copy a soundtrack from THE FIFTH ELEMENT in a teaser on Youtube, it just seems tacky especially if potential investors of this deal see it. I don’t know if it’s official or some user made it. Anyway just my opinion.

  8. gayane said:

    I hope it gets produced and shown to the world.. Much of luck Roger and hope that Gibson does consider to work with you..

    the world will then see how magestic Armenians were and still are…

    God’s speed …

  9. edward Demian said:

    I just pray that it would be a professional production and nothing less.

  10. Vahe said:

    Honestly, everyone should ask themselves this question. Armenia and Armenians have a long history, with many important events. The battle of Sardarabad in may 1918 in which we defended the last little piece of Armenia which was on the brink of extinction, should be made into a movie. The ottoman leaders had called for only one Armenian body to be kept in a museum…remeber that ? How about 1988, the sumgait and baku pogroms…which led to the karabakh war, which we won when facing tremendous challenges, including the earthquake, etc…a movie about karabakh would make the world understand why NK should be independent.
    But no, stupid Armenian people support the battle of avarayr movie in which we stayed Christian instead of converting back to paganism/zoroastrianism.
    Please dont misunderstand me, i’m very proud of the fact that Armenia is the world’s first christian country, and am glad we didnt let the persians win. But the reality is, Persians have been our friend’s since that battle. We have NEVER had problemes with them since that time. Why do some of you get so happy about a movie which will only make persians confused, they will think ‘we support Armenia, and karabakh..theyve had 1 genocide by turkey, and almost another by azerbaijan, yet they make a movie about a 2000 year old story of christians vs. zoroastrian persian ??
    People wake the f**k up, THE VERY FIRST MENTION OF ARMENIA IS IN THE BEHISTUN INSCRIPTIONS IN IRAN, which Cyrus wrote about. The church in which Jesus’ disciple St. Thaddeus is said to have been buried at was made into a Unesco world heritage site. Keep in mind what azerbaijan and turkey have done to our churches…plus over 40 schools and churches have always operated in Iran, not one kurdish or azeri.
    These days, Armenia should try EVERYTHING in it’s power to be very good friends with Iran…but to make a big budget movie about this topic instead of what we’ve been REALLY fighting for, recognition of Artsakh as an independent state, or the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, in my opinion is an absolute travesty and a severe bitch slap across the Irania’s faces. 300 madethem look bad, butit was greeks, so who cares…WE HAVE A 42 KILOMETRE BORDER WITH IRAN…KEEP IN MIND THIS IS WHAT SEPERATES TURKEY FROM FINALLY CONNECTING TO AZERBAIJAN, THIS BORDER STOPS THEIR PAN-TURKIC DREAMS FROM BECOMING A REALITY. THE WORLD WILL NOT LET ARTSAKH KEEP IT’S 200 KILOMETRE BORDER WITH IRAN BECAUSE THEY WANT ARMENIA TO DISAPPEAR ! WORK ON A MOVIE THAT WILL ACTUALLY BENEFIT ARMENIA, NOT LOST AND FUOND IN ARMENIA BULLSHIT, OR THE BATTLE OF AVARAYR WHICH REALLY IS NOT RELEVANT IN TODAY’S WORLD ANYWAY. Vahe, an Armenian from Iran.

    • GB said:

      Vahe,
      Keep in your mind that Armenians never won the war against Zoroastrian Persia in Avarayr war, actually we were separated from Rome dominated Christianity and we became independent as part of Eastern Oriental Apostolic Orthodox Church, and mostly we were dominated by Persia even after Avaryr war. After the war of Avaryr, Persians and Armenians never become enemies, but we’ve got respect from Persians to stay as a Christian nation, sometimes under their domination, even after Islamization of Iranian nation by Arabs!! We are still part of Iranian nation and we still have their respect. We never harm them the way Turkic tribes did to them, such as Mongols, Huns, Ottoman Turks, Tatars, Seljuk Turks, I am sure you know Persian history, how those uncultured attackers tried to destroy Iranian civilization, but at the end they became submissive to their highly appreciated civilized Iranian culture!! I hope the movie will never promote enmity between Persians and Armenians, actually will promote Persian civilization of that time..just remember Armenians must promote themselves in today’s world, especially to Turks, where they occupied and destroyed Eastern Roman Empire a huge advanced Christian civilization, where Persians were same level as Byzantium Empire, and they are still alive and kept their vibrant civilization of the past!!

    • AdilJavid said:

      Thieving, murdering and taking lands that don’t belong to you. That is what turkish culture is all about. I like your idea of showing the turks as invaders, but I prefer a movie about the drunk pedophile, crypto-jew who died of syphilis, you know the father of the turks (how appropriate) Mustafa kemal ataturk. I will love the scene where he dresses up like a woman to evade assassination. cheers!

  11. Greg I. said:

    1 Euro = 1.2417 US Dollars
    1 US dollar = 408.88 Armenian Drams
    1 Armenian Dram = 30 Iranian Rials
    1 Epic Hollywood film = usually betwen 25 million to 150 million USD

    1 Opinion on anything = 0

    You do the math. Put up or shut up. Go Vartan!

    Greg I.

*

Top