Russian platform Start develops "Crime and Punishment" TV series adaptation

The series will be set in modern-day St Petersburg and will follow both the traditional protagonist of the Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic novel, Rodion Raskolnikov and his lesser-known sister Dunya Raskolnikov.


Vladimir Mirzoev, Creator and Director of "Crime and Punishment"


Russian leading streaming service, Start, has announced the developing of a high-end drama series adaption of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic novel "Crime and Punishment." The 8x52’ series will be set in modern-day St Petersburg and will follow both the traditional protagonist Rodion Raskolnikov and his lesser-known sister Dunya Raskolnikov. Start is now looking for co-production partners for the series.

The series follows Rodion Raskolnikov, a young student who is in terrible debt and doesn’t eat for days. Out of desperation, he turns to the devil, who encourages Rodion to commit petty theft in a supermarket. Rodion is tormented by his conscience, but the Devil knows how to manipulate him – leading to the young man murdering an old woman. Vladimir Mirzoyev ("Russian Death"), the creator of the series, will direct. Award-winning Vasily Grigolyunas ("Life Ahead") is set to direct photography.

Daria Bondarenko, EVP Sales and Acquisitions, Start says: "We love to play with new styles and genre tropes, and we’re excited to give fresh breath to this iconic IP and transfer it to modern times. What would these characters look like now? What influences their choice? And, finally, with the incomprehensible logic of crime, what would force an ordinary St. Petersburg student to move to the dark side – his inner demons, or someone more powerful, the Devil?”

The modern aesthetic of the new series will help contemporary viewers relate to a story synonymous with 19th century Russia. It will use techniques to draw the audience into the delirium of the characters and manifest the world as seen through the eyes of a schizophrenic. Through this approach, the story provides a new perspective on one of the most philosophically important pieces of Russian literature of all time.

Vladimir Mirzoev, Creator and Director, comments: “This new adaptation of the novel brings new perspectives and interpretations to a classic story. It is not only the story of Rodion Raskolnikov, but also the story of his sister, Dunya. They look alike and they have similar characters. But what's most significant, although it is not so obvious, is that they are both heroes. They are both passionate, proud and incapable of surrender.”

Irina Sosnovaya, Creative Producer, Start, adds: “’Crime and Punishment’ is an iconic IP around the world, and it is part of the compulsory curriculum in all Russian schools. All our friends and family have studied the text, so breathing new life through a fresh interpretation of such a well-known story is an incredibly challenging and exciting opportunity. The new stylistic interpretations, sudden plot twists and visual techniques will help us to re-tell this story in a way that will keep viewers from around the world captivated.”