The $4m co-production between Moscow-based Tandem Pictures and Gothenburg's Illusion Film received backing from the Swedish regional fund Film I Vast.
The screenplay for the first Russian remake of an Asian film was written by producer-distributor Sam Klebanov and Alexander Lungin, transferring the action from the concrete jungles of Hong Kong to blocks of flats from the Communist era in Moscow.
In contrast to the To original, the Russian version about the manipulation of the mass-media will have a more satirical tone to reflect the current situation in Russia.
Klebanov's distribution outfit Cinema Without Frontiers, which released Banke's first feature, the horror comedy Frostbitten in 2006, as well as To's Breaking News, plans to bring the new film into Russian cinemas into March 2009.
The cast of Newsmakers includes Andrey Merzlinin (Boomer), Evgeny Tsiganov (The Mermaid), Maria Mashkova - in her first international role - and Sergey Garmash (12), while Moscow VGIK film school graduate Banke is joined behind the camera by UK DoP Chris Maris and Russian production designer Grigory Pushkin.