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TELEVISION USA / Czech Republic

Sprawling high-fantasy series The Wheel of Time being shot in the Czech Republic

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- Amazon is readying a small-screen adaptation of the best-selling series of fantasy books by Robert Jordan

Sprawling high-fantasy series The Wheel of Time being shot in the Czech Republic
The cast of The Wheel of Time

The post-Game of Thrones vacuum is a lucrative time, ripe for small-screen adaptations of literary epic-fantasy tales. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is currently airing on BBC and HBO, and has been renewed for another season. Amazon is preparing a prequel series to Lord of the Rings directed by Spanish helmer Juan Antonio Bayona, rumoured to have a budget of one billion dollars and already greenlit for a second season. In addition, another fantasy powerhouse and best-selling literary series is being transformed into a tent-pole blockbuster series – namely, Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, which spans 15 books. Amazon has ordered the series, and Sony is co-producing. Rafe Judkins, the writer on the shows My Own Worst Enemy, Chuck and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is the series showrunner and executive producer. Rosamund Pike (who is also the series’ producer) has been cast in the leading role, while the cast also includes Josha Stradowski, Madeleine Madden, Marcus Rutherford, Zoë Robins, Barney Harris and Daniel Henney, among others. Marigo Kehoe and Uta Briesewitz are serving as executive producers, with Briesewitz directing the first two episodes. Czech outfit Partnership Pictures, spol sro is also working on the production, having previously been involved in Outlander - Season 2, Red Tails, The Brothers Bloom, The Brothers Grimm [+see also:
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, Hart's War and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

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“Set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists and only certain women are allowed to access it, the story follows Moiraine, a member of an incredibly powerful, all-female organisation called the Aes Sedai, as she arrives in the small town of Two Rivers,” reads the official synopsis of the series. The Wheel of Time has been shooting in Prague (and also has its production base there, as some scenes will be filmed in Slovenia and Croatia) since September 2019. Principal photography is expected to last until May 2020 and will take place throughout the Czech Republic. Amazon previously shot the Victorian fantasy series Carnival Row, starring Cara Delevigne, Orlando Bloom and Jared Harris, in the country (see the news) and is already working on the second season of it in Prague, as the production will run alongside the Robert Jordan adaptation. The Wheel of Time project qualified for the Czech Film Fund’s incentive programme. Judkins is already writing the second season of the high-fantasy series.

Foreign investment in the Czech film industry reached a record of 4.8 billion Czech crowns (approximately €190 million) in 2018 (including 1,072 shooting days for 38 foreign series and films, according to the Czech Film Commission). The Czech Film Fund received an additional 500 million Czech crowns (€19.8 million) from the Ministry of Finance in November 2019, as the original fund of 800 million crowns (€31.6 million) allocated for financial incentives in 2019 was used up in the first six months of the year. Among the foreign series shot in the Czech Republic in 2019 were a comedy series starring Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi, Miracle Workers, and a post-World War II drama set in Berlin, Shadowplay, starring Taylor Kitsch, Michael C Hall and Logan Marshall-Green.

A release date for The Wheel of Time has not yet been set.

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