János Hunyadi’s story, a well-known Hungarian hero, will be filmed. The story will be made into a ten-part series.
Robert Lantos‘ Serendipity Point Films (“Crimes of the Future”) and Beta Film (“Gomorrah”, “Babylon Berlin”) are joining forces for “Rise of the Raven” (working title), a big-budget epic drama series about the fearless warrior John Hunyadi, who defeated the mighty Ottoman army at the Battle of Belgrade in 1456 and defended Europe.
The 10-hour series, based on the best-selling novels by Mór Bán, will be helmed by award-winning director George Mihalka, who will also direct the final three episodes. Mihalka‘s drama credits include NBC‘s “The Firm”, TNT‘s “Transporter: The Series”, and Showtime‘s “Bullet to Beijing”. He has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Directors Guild.
Robert Dornhelm, whose recent TV series include “Viennese Blood” with Matthew Beard and “Maria Theresa”, will direct the first two episodes of “Rise of the Raven”. Dornhelm has previously directed Emmy and Oscar-nominated productions such as “Anne Frank: The Whole Story” with Sir Ben Kingsley, “Children of Theatre Street” with Grace Kelly, and “The Venice Project” starring Lauren Bacall and Dennis Hopper. Orsi Nagypal, whose credits include “The Bargain”, will also direct some episodes. The series is written by György Mihalka, Balázs Lengyel, Balázs Lovas, Zsófia Ruttkay and Attila Veres.
Set in medieval Europe in the 15th century, “Rise of the Raven” is currently in pre-production and casting is underway. Beta Film is in advanced negotiations with leading European broadcasters.
“Through sheer courage and cunning, John Hunyadi defeated a much larger invading Ottoman army and saved Europe,” said Lantos, who also produced David Cronenberg‘s “The Crimes of the Future” with Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart.
“For the past ten years, my creative partners and I have been working to adapt Mór Bán‘s hugely powerful ten-volume historical novel to the screen. In Beta Film, I have found an ally who shares our ambitious vision,” added Lantos.
The series is a passion project for Mihalka, who says he has dreamed of returning to Hungary “and working (in his native land and language)”. According to him, this will be “the first international limited series to be produced and shot in Hungary“.
The creative also said that the true story of Hunyadi is “universal in its scope and theme”, even if it is specific to Central Europe. “It is a saga of courage, love, perseverance, the fight for freedom and the ultimate victory over the forces that threatened not only his homeland but the whole of Europe”.
Lantos, who is executive producer of the series, is a highly acclaimed veteran producer whose credits include such arthouse films as the Berlin Prize-winning “Museo”; the Cannes Award-winning “Adoration”; the Oscar-nominated “Eastern Promises” and “Being Julia”; and the Cannes Jury Prize-winning “Crash”. His television credits include HBO‘s “Shot Through the Heart” and “Sword of Gideon”, CBS‘ “Due South” and Showtime‘s “Total Recall”.