A Matrix-style trilogy is being planned around stories by cult Russian sci-fi writer Vasily Golovachev, led by the first film The Interceptor which is currently in post-production. The $10m film is being sold here by George Lascu's Rex Media. Lascu is also beginning pre-sales on the next two installments.

The Interceptor (aka Smersh XXI) is being given a 600-print release in Russia in January by Karoprokat. The film, produced by Golovachev and Julia Orlova of Moscow-based Rus-Media, is directed by Konstantin Maximov. The co-producer is Yegor Konchalovsky, son of Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky.

The film follows a Special Forces agent 'trained by a time shifting angel and guided by forces of the future' who is pitted against the ruthless leader of a criminal syndicate. Visual effects are being handled by Vladimir Leschinski, whose credits include Nightwatch and Daywatch.

The screenplay for The Interceptor 2 is completed. Golovachev is at work on the screenplay for the third film. International rights are available on all three movies. 'It's the first time that there has been an opportunity for a Russian company to do whatever everybody else is doing here (at the AFM) - to try to do pre-sales and to look for participation and partners for the next two films,' said Lascu.

It is yet to be decided whether The Interceptor will be dubbed into English for international buyers or made available in the original Russian language version.

Vasily Golovachev is one of the best known sci-fi writers in Russia, with more than 40 novels to his credit.