The major new adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic novel has restarted production in Romania; it will also use studios and locations in South Africa. Several weeks of shooting had been completed earlier in the year, before production was suspended due to the pandemic; the remainder of the five-month shoot will wrap in February.
The eight-part drama, which is from a writing team headed by Ashely Pharoah and Caleb Ranson, stars David Tennant as Phileas Fogg with Ibrahim Koma as Passepartout and Leonie Benesch as Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue. Jason Watkins, Peter Sullivan, Lindsay Duncan, Dolly Wells, Richard Wilson, Anthony Flanagan, Faical Elkihel, Gary Beadle and Giovanni Scifoni are among the supporting cast.
Peter McAleese produces, working alongside directors Steve Barron and Charles Beeson.
Around The World In 80 Days is a Slim Film + Television and Federation co-production for the European Alliance formed by France Télévisions, ZDF and RAI, with additional co-production partners, Peu Communications in South Africa, MASTERPIECE in the US, Be-FILMS and RTBF in Belgium and associate produced by Daro Film.
It is executive produced by Simon Crawford Collins for Slim, Lionel Uzan and Pascal Breton for Federation, Winnie Serite for Peu Communications and Susanne Simpson for MASTERPIECE.
Crawford Collins said: “We are over the moon to be recommencing filming on Around The World In 80 Days, having gathered such an exciting and truly international cast, led by David, Ibrahim and Leonie. This project is such a challenging and ambitious series to put together so it has required a huge amount of support on all fronts to pull it off. We couldn’t have achieved it without our wonderful production team, our stellar cast, our super supportive broadcasters and financiers, the inventiveness of our directors and the ingenuity of our wonderful writing team led by Ashley Pharoah.”
Romania and South Africa are both well-established major international production hubs, able to host multiple large-scale shoots. Romania offers a generous 35% cash rebate, rising to a hefty 45% for productions that are set specifically in Romania. Its capital Bucharest, is often used to double for other world locales including Paris and Moscow.
South Africa offers a 25% base incentive for international film and TV productions, rising to 30% for projects that fulfil post-production there. Cape Town has vast sound stages and also doubles for other cities, including London, as in the recent TV drama Noughts and Crosses.
David Tennant photo by Myles Aronowitz/Netflix