Russo Bruce. Amazon Series Citadel Balloons Budget $200 Million Plus (Exclusive) – The Hollywood Reporter

It was to be a major Amazon Prime video series, where top Hollywood talent directs what was envisioned as a major franchise of the e-commerce giant. However, cost overruns and creative differences plagued a series that quietly became one of the most expensive shows ever produced.

Meets forta global series of events from Avengers And the gray man Directors Joe and Anthony Russo and film and television writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec.

Multiple sources say The Hollywood Reporter These differences in vision drove half the creative team out and forced the show — a spy thriller meant to launch local spinoffs — into a round of expensive reshoots.

Now, a seven-episode series that once cost at least $160 million, adds up to $75 million, sources say, and is on track to become the second most expensive show of all time. Escalating costs and reruns come with the launch of Amazon The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Powerwhich is characterized by being bone Expensive in the history of television, With the cost of rights alone 250 million dollars At least the first season 465 million dollars.

The streaming wars have ramped up show and movie budgets in recent years as companies try to outdo each other in order to stream eyeballs. in case if rings of strengthIt may have worked, with the show mostly garnering rave reviews that also praised the on-screen production value. While it is too early to judge fort’Fate and the behind-the-scenes struggles show how pressures like the series can interrupt a creative partnership – and how there seems to be no cap on spending looking for a marquee series.

fort It was a project he was passionate about Amazon Studios Boss Jennifer Salke, who was looking for a big title to make waves. And got it: AvengersA spy-style show, with spies from major countries coming together for the ultimate mission. Even better, the show will generate local sub-themes, as the spy characters go on their own adventures on their own land. India, Italy and Mexico were among the countries targeted.

fort It was created and given the go-ahead with much fanfare, in proportion to the talent in question. The Russo brothers, who will be executive producers, were hot off their back-to-back movie Avengers Movies. Appelbaum and Nemec, who are part of the screenwriting group known as Midnight Radio, are best known for their acclaimed television work and films such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol And the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The group was Simpatico with Roussos, and they had a partnership that included a deal at first sight with the filmmakers’ company, AGBO.

Game of thrones Actor Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have been cast as lead, with the actors spending most of 2021 filming the show, which ended in December.

Then the production team was behind fort I started to break up into factions. According to the sources, Amazon had some reservations about the early shots, with the Russians, who were less involved due to the focus on their expensive business project, gray man, Parachuting. This led to creative differences and led to two competing pieces, one pushed by Roussos and the other by Abelbaum and Nemec. As the weeks passed, other project commitments had reduced the creative camps into two opposing forces, Joe Russo and Appelbaum, who was the show’s showrunner.

Amazon chose to bet on the Russians, and just days before Christmas, Applebaum was abandoned. A source connected to the project says, “What should have happened is Joe turns to Josh and says, ‘Let’s get together and fix this’ instead of going solo. That’s not what the partners are supposed to do.”

But Abelbaum did not leave alone. Brian Kirk, known for his work on Game of thrones And the dreadful pennywhich directed five episodes out of seven, also came out, as did line producer Sarah Bradshaw, among others.

Amazon did not comment on the budget or exits. Two insiders noted that even though the budget totaled more than $250 million, this included higher COVID-19 costs, and was not taken into account when the series was initially lit. Nor does it take into account the large tax breaks for filming in places like London.

AGBO has no comments. WME, which represents Abelbaum and Nemec, also had no comment.

An insider notes that across the television landscape, cost overruns and software overhauls have been occurring frequently in recent years. “A lot of programs suffer because CEOs lack experience at this level of production or dealing with artists,” says one TV veteran. fort’The s-scale was so complex that three units were launched simultaneously, according to the sources.

It is unclear where and how the divergent visions of the show originated. A person familiar with the conflict says that Appelbaum’s version of the pilot introduced the spies via a spectacular skateboarding and hang-gliding sequence, setting a spy versus spy before redirecting the story for five years, with no memory of the protagonists. from their previous occupation. Rousseau’s novel, according to this source, began in those five years, abandoning the action sequences.

Anyway, AGBO is now responsible for fortAmazon has hired David Weil to rewrite the show and give it more ground. Weil was famous for being an innovator huntersthe critically acclaimed Nazi hunting show from Amazon starring Logan Lerman and Al Pacino.

Thomas Siegel, veteran cinematographer who directed two episodes fort, formally took over the management of the re-shoots, which lasted through the spring and into early summer. Siegel has a well-established history with Roussos. He was the director of photography at cherrywhich they directed, etc. extractionwhich they produced. However, a source says that Joe Russo was too involved in the filming. The show is now in post-production. No date has been set for the first time.

Appelbaum, Nemec and their Midnight Radio banner no longer have a deal at first sight in AGBO. The duo retreated away from television and returned to writing movies. Ironically, they’re back in business with Amazon, where they’re working on a feature titled heads of state which Idris Elba and John Cena have been attached to the star.

Behind the scenes events fort He underscores Roussos’ reputation as perhaps the least extravagant of filmmakers. gray man, starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, cost over $250 million and was the most expensive Netflix movie ever produced. Even a drama with a small character, starring Tom Holland cherryhas become known for significant cost overruns.

The filmmakers have gained enough fame to justify those budgets as directors of some of the biggest films of all time with Avengers And the captain America privileges. when flowing, extraction It stands as the sixth most-watched Netflix original movie of all time, while gray man It is the fourth most-watched original movie, according to Netflix.

Filmmakers also remain adept at finding companies to get deep into their pockets, including for their latest endeavor, a sci-fi thriller titled electric state. Likes gray manIt is being produced for Netflix, but only after a budget dispute with Universal, the former home of the project, led to the studio turning it over after directors explained that $200 million wasn’t enough for their science fiction vision.

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