What's filming in Prague now? An Apple TV+ sci-fi saga and more

Several projects are heading to Czechia this summer, including a new look at Anne Frank and a reboot of "The Crow."

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 26.04.2022 16:55:00 (updated on 27.04.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

The Czech Republic continues to attract big movie projects, with two currently being filmed and more planned for the summer. The Apple TV+ sci-fi series “Foundation” and the German sports biopic “Der Kaiser” are both now filming in Prague.

The other projects will start production over the summer: “A Small Light,” about Anne Frank, and a reboot of “The Crow.” Robert Eggers reboot of the vampire tale “Nosferatu” might also be filmed later in the year.

On the other hand, production on “Expendables 2,” starring Chris Hemsworth, has wrapped and location work for the second season of the series “Wheel of Time” moved from the Czech Republic to Morocco in February.

The second season of “Foundation,” based on a series of books by the late Isaac Asimov, shot scenes in Ireland and the Canary Islands before moving to Prague earlier this month. The production will be using Prague Studios, located in Letňany, and undisclosed Czech locations.

Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Lou Llobell, and Leah Harvey star in the series, which premiered Sept 24, 2021. A few new faces have been announced for the second season: Isabella Laughland as Brother Constant, Kulvinder Ghir as Poly Verisof, Sandra Yi Sencindiver as Enjoiner Rue, Ella-Rae Smith as Queen Sareth of Cloud Dominion, and Dimitri Leonidas as Hober Mallow, among others.

The series is described as “the thousand-year saga of The Foundation, a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it.” The episodes focus on four characters who cross the boundaries of space and time to face crises, changes in loyalty, and complicated relationships that will decide the fate of humanity.

The plot of the second season will in part deal with efforts to evangelize the Church of the Galactic Spirit, though there will be some political intrigue and revenge as well.

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The sports biopic “Der Kaiser” is rather down to earth by comparison. It tells the life story of German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, who was known by the nickname Der Kaiser for his sense of style. The story will cover his career from the 1960s up to the World Cup in 1990. Klaus Steinbacher, who starred in the TV series “Das Boot” has the lead role.

Klaus Steinbacher in 'Der Kaiser.' Photo: Sky Deutschland, Bavaria Film.
Klaus Steinbacher in 'Der Kaiser.' Photo: Sky Deutschland, Bavaria Film.

The plot shows Beckenbauer as someone trying to overhaul the outdated rules of the game while living life on his own terms.

“By winning the World Cup as a player and as a coach, Franz Beckenbauer made history. But his brilliant performances off the pitch also made him a legend,” Frank Jastfelder of production company Sky Deutschland said.

Scheduled to start filming in the summer, “A Small Light” is a new take on the story of Anne Frank, who hid in an attic along with her family to try to escape the Holocaust. The National Geographic miniseries was commissioned by Disney+. Filming will also take place in Amsterdam.

This seven-episode miniseries will look at Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who gave shelter to the Frank family for over two years and also preserved Anne’s diary. Liev Schreiber stars as Otto Frank, while Bel Powley plays Miep Gies and Joe Cole plays her husband, Jan.

The title comes from something Gies said later in life, according to film news server Deadline: “I don’t like being called a hero because no one should ever think you have to be special to help others. Even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can turn on a small light in a dark room.”

This is not the first Anne Frank drama to be filmed in Prague. The 2001 two-episode miniseries “Anne Frank: The Whole Story” starred Hannah Taylor-Gordon in the title role and Ben Kingsley as Otto Frank.

Bill Skarsgård is slated to star in a reboot of “The Crow,” based on the supernatural graphic novel by James O’Barr. The film is budgeted at $50 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and will film in both Prague and Munich starting in June. It will be directed by Rupert Sanders, who made “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Ghost in the Shell.”

The graphic novel and the original film follow the exploits of a man who rises from the grave and, assisted by a crow, seeks revenge on the people who killed him and his girlfriend.

The reboot of “Nosferatu” is a bit less certain. The film would be directed by Robert Eggers and star Anya Taylor-Joy. The two previously worked together on 2015’s “The Witch,” released in 2015, and “The Northman,” currently in theaters.

The latest news on the project, from the end of March, is that Harry Styles has dropped out of production due to scheduling conflicts.

The original “Nosferatu” was released in 1922 and just celebrated its 100th anniversary. Some scenes of the German production were filmed at ruins in Slovakia. The Czech castle Hrad Pernštejn was featured in the 1979 remake by Werner Herzog.

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