‘Russian Sleep Experiment’ To Be Adapted Into A New Psychological Thriller

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Bloody Disgusting reported today that a new horror movie is in the works, and fans of a certain creepypasta urban legend are about to be very excited. For those who haven’t heard of the Russian Sleep Experiment, a bit of initial details is important.

The Russian Sleep Experiment is a creepypasta that popped up online, claiming that Soviet researchers had used an experimental stimulant in the 1940s in an effort to keep five people awake for over two weeks straight. Sometimes known as Orange Soda, this online horror story and urban legend was written by an unknown author and tells of these five test subjects being exposed to horrific scientific experimental sleep-inhibiting stimulants during the Soviet era. The story gets very gory and disturbing for the faint of heart.

The story is, of course, highly likely untrue just as with any of the internet urban legends, points out Bloody Disgusting. Meanwhile, Snopes reports that there is no truth to this story. True or false, the story of the five patients has been nightmare fodder for numerous readers.

“This account isn’t a historical record of a genuine 1940s sleep deprivation research project gone awry, however. It’s merely a bit of supernatural fiction that gained widespread currency on the Internet after appearing on Creepypasta (a site for “short stories designed to unnerve and shock the reader”) in August 2010.”

Casting and the director for the film adaptation of this creepypasta have been released, as has the title. The movie will be called The Soviet Sleep Experiment, and Barry Andersson is listed as the director. He will also be partnering with Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning makeup artist Crist Ballas to executive produce the film, while also being production designer. Certainly Andersson has his hands full in bringing this horror legend to life.

To date, IMDb lists Andersson’s directorial work as mostly short videos and films, with one full-length feature, called Edge of Insanity, which IMDb rates 4.9 out of 10 stars. Besides currently filming The Soviet Sleep Experiment, Andersson is also in post-production on two other films he is directing, Restless and The Lumber Baron.

Casting for The Soviet Sleep Experiment includes Rafal Zawierucha, a Polish actor who also played the role of Roman Polanski in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film about the Sharon Tate murder set to debut sometime next year — titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Zawierucha will be featured as Doctor Leo Antonoff. Others include Evgeny Krutov from Stranger Things Season 3, who will play the part of a USSR captain, and Chris Kattan from SNL and A Night at the Roxbury, who will play one of the test patients, as will Paul Cram, Charles Hubbell, and Michael Villar. Eva De Dominici, known for her role in You Shall Not Sleep, will be playing the role of Doctor Anna Antonoff.