Production underway in Hungary on Robert Lantos' Rise of the Raven

The multi-million euro series marks the country's most expensive television production in history 

By Priyanca Rajput 9 Aug 2022

Production underway in Hungary on Robert Lantos' Rise of the Raven
Elizabeth Szilagyi (l.) and Gellért L. Kádár in Rise of the Raven. Credit: Beta Film

Principal photography has begun near Budapest, Hungary on TV series Rise of the Raven for Robert Lantos' Serendipity Point Films and Beta Film.

The creatives behind Crimes of the Future and Gomorrah are set to mark Hungary's most expensive TV production in history, with their adaption of author Bán Mór’s bestselling novels that centre on Hungarian warrior Janos Hunyadi, who triumphed over the Ottoman forces in 1456 at the Battle of Belgrade.

The production began earlier in July and will continue until June, 2023. It is being filmed on location around Hungary and the Mafilm Studio complex outside Budapest, which has been home to major Hollywood productions such as Blade Runner 2049 and Terminator: Dark Fate, as well as popular TV series like The Witcher and The Last Kingdom.

In a synopsis shared by Beta Film, the 10-episode series will unveil the adventure-filled life of Hunyadi in gruelling 15th century medieval Europe. While Hunyadi’s life is plagued by scandal, political power plays, and conspiracies between noble families from Warsaw, Rome, Belgrade, and Vienna, his strongest allies are the women in his life. There is Elizabeth Szilagyi, his wife, who stands by him and often fights in his place. And there is Mara Brankovic, his first love and life-long friend. Even though she breaks his heart by becoming the lead concubine in Sultan Murad’s court, as well as a close confidante of the Turkish leader, their friendship will never be broken.

When the Ottoman Empire mobilises an army of unprecedented size that marches west with the objective of conquering the Vatican and Europe, Hunyadi scores a decisive victory against all odds at the Battle of Belgrade, re-shaping the history of Europe.

Rise of the Raven stars Hungarian newcomer Gellért L. Kádár as army commander Hunyadi. Opposite Kádár is Hungarian TV, film, and stage star Vivien Rujder as Hunyadi’s life partner Elizabeth Szilagyi.

International talent rounds out the cast, including Austria’s Laurence Rupp (Babarians), Cornelius Obonya (Maria Theresa), Murathan Muslu (Breaking Point), Italy’s Francesco Acquaroli (Fargo), multi-awarded Czech actor Karel Roden (Bourne Supremacy), Serbian star Rade Serbedzija (Batman Begins, Mission: Impossible II) as well as Italian actors Thomas Trabacchi (Studio Battaglia) and Elena Rusconi (6 Underground).

In total, the multi-million euro series will see 600 actors and stunt people in front of the camera.

The series is directed by Oscar-nominated and Emmy winning, Robert Dornhelm (War and Peace), and Hungarian directors Orsi Nagypal, (The CW’s The Outpost) and Attila Szász (Eternal Winter).  Balázs Lengyel (HBO’s Golden Life) serves as showrunner and it is written by Lengyel, George Mihalka, Balázs Lovas, Zsófia Ruttkay, Attila Veres, and Bán Mór whose novels the series is based on.

As well as Serendipity Point Films and Beta, Twin Media, HG Media, MR Film also produce. Coproducers are Hungary’s TV2 Network, who will broadcast in Hungary and Slovenia, and newly announced co-producer ORF, who will broadcast in Austria.

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