28 February 2019

Terminator and Co.

The Hungarian service film industry is booming, and in 2018 we welcomed more projects than ever before. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Timothée Chalamet and Antonio Banderas all made exciting projects here, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Here is a quick look at what films and TV shows were made in our country last year.

The Untitled Terminator Reboot is probably the biggest production that Hungary welcomed in 2018. Directed by Deadpool-helmer Tim Miller, the monumental action film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton. In close second is Ang Lee’s Gemini Man starring Will Smith, which will also heavily feature Budapest and other Hungarian locations. The two movies will be released in the United States in the fall.

The abovementioned films will be seen by millions, but the new Netflix film The King might have an even bigger audience thanks to the global streamer’s reach. Directed by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom, The Rover), the film stars Timothée Chalamet as the title character of Henry V and Joel Edgerton as Falstaff.

Berlin Station

Earlier last year another prime director visited Hungary: Oscar-nominated Marjane Satrapi filmed Radioactive with Rosamund Pike in the role of Marie Curie. Another prestigious project made in Budapest is The Song of Names, directed by François Girard (The Red Violin) and starring Clive Owen and Tim Roth (Owen hardly left Budapest as he also co-stars in Gemini Man!).

The television projects were once again a big part of our service production industry. One of the most visible series was National Geographic’s Genius, which had a months-long shoot in Hungary with Antonio Banderas starring as Pablo Picasso. Recently the show was nominated for multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards. At the latter, Banderas was nominated alongside Daniel Brühl who was competing with his performance in the spectacular series The Alienist, which was also made in Hungary.

Returning shows included Mars, Jamestown and The Last Kingdom, while new shows include many in the spy thriller genre: the TV series Hanna, a large part of the third season of Berlin Station, and also some of Homeland - starring Claire Danes, of course. And it was not only English-speaking shows – in the bigscale Hidden: Förstfödd, a Swedish fantasy-thriller series, Budapest plays modern-day Stockholm in a dark and twisted way.

Hidden: Förstfödd

Speaking of fantasy, The Witcher could be the next big event series – and it is currently being filmed in Hungary for Netflix. Based on the popular books and videogames, the series stars Superman himself, Henry Cavill. The show is set to debut later this year, and we hope many more seasons will be filmed in Hungary!

But the near future is already full with exciting projects. On top of the list is the new Dune movie, which is now being prepped. This will be director Denis Villeneuve’s second lengthy stay in Hungary, as he previously filmed the entire Blade Runner 2049 in and around Budapest. Dune will star Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Stellan Skarsgård.

Gábor Osváth