START Developing Modern-Day Crime and Punishment Series


The streaming service START is developing a drama series adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic novel Crime and Punishment.

Set in modern-day St. Petersburg, the eight-part series will follow original protagonist Rodion Raskolnikov and his lesser-known sister Dunya Raskolnikov.

Rodion is 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.

Vladimir Mirzoyev (Russian Death, Her Name Was Mumu), creator of the series, will direct. Vasily Grigolyunas (Life Ahead, Gerda) is set to direct photography.

START is now looking for co-production partners for the series.

Daria Bondarenko, executive VP of sales and acquisitions at START, said: “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?”

Mirzoyev commented: “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 important, 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 at START, added: “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 retell this story in a way that will keep viewers from around the world captivated.”