When Hollywood Comes to Town
The first half of 2017 brought two big-budget Hollywood movies to Hungary, both of which have recently wrapped. Directed by Francis Lawrence of ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, ‘Red Sparrow’ is an espionage thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons. The other big title is ‘Robin Hood’, which is a new take on the classic tale and stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Dorman and Jamie Foxx. These big-budget movies will be opening worldwide in March and September 2018, respectively.
While Jamie Foxx was busy tweeting and instagramming his months spent in Budapest, the Mila Kunis-Ashton Kutcher duo gave a lot of work for paparazzi. Kutcher was in the city accompanying Kunis, who was filming ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’, an action-comedy also starring Kate McKinnon and Justin Theroux. Keira Knightley was more low-key when she filmed the indie drama ‘Colette’, directed by Wash Westmoreland.
Besides the big-budget Hollywood fares, TV shows are the biggest spender. According to newly released statistics, the biggest project in 2017 was the marathon-length shoot of TNT’s new drama series ‘The Alienist’, which spent 67 million euros in Hungary. The investment seems to be not at all bad: the show’s launch in January this year reached a cumulative 13.1 million viewers in telecasts in one week, making it the network’s most successful launch since 2012. The show, starring Dakota Fanning, Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans, is a psychological thriller set in New York City in 1896.
AMC’s ‘The Terror’ is the second biggest spender in Hungary with around 41.4 million euros. The horror-thriller series, starring Jared Harris and Ciarán Hinds, is set to premiere in March this year. New seasons of ‘The Last Kingdom’, ‘Strike Back’, ‘Jamestown’ and ‘Mars’ were also filmed in Hungary this past year. And National Geographic’s ‘Genius’ is still in Budapest: the current season depicts the life of the painter Pablo Picasso and stars Antonio Banderas. Rowan Atkinson’s ‘Maigret’ character has returned with two made-for-TV movies, and director Stephen Daldry himself directed a week-long shoot for the new season of his Golden Globe-winning series ‘The Crown’.
2018 is also looking very good. Besides some returning shows, many exciting films are lined up to shoot throughout the year. Oscar-nominated Marjene Satrapi is currently prepping her new feature film ‘Radioactive’ with Rosamund Pike starring as Marie Curie. But it is two blockbusters that has everyone talking. ‘Deadpool’-helmer Tim Miller is in charge of rebooting the ‘Terminator’ franchise (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton are already on board!), while Ang Lee will film his ‘Gemini Man’ with Will Smith around the same time.