Beta Film unveils first image of epic saga ‘Rise of the Raven’

Munich/London, 27 February 2024. Beta Film has released the first image of one of the most epic European TV productions of all time: Rise of the Raven.

Produced by acclaimed Robert Lantos (Sunshine, The Sweet Hereafter, Barney’s Version, Eastern Promises, Crimes of the Future), the multimillion Euro series is currently in advanced stages of editing. The series stars discovery Gellert L. Kadar as Janos Hunyadi, the army commander who defeated the vast Ottoman army in the Battle of Belgrade in 1456. Torn between family and duty, Hunyadi re-shapes Europe’s history against geopolitical intrigues within his own ranks.

Producer Robert Lantos:

“T S Eliot once wrote that between the dream and the reality there lies the shadow. Throughout my entire career I have been battling this shadow. Finally, with Rise of the Raven, the shadow has been vanquished. This time, the dream is the reality.”

Koby Gal-Raday, Beta Film’s Chief Content Officer:

Rise of the Raven delivers on its promises – a highly entertaining, emotional, and powerful historical saga of exceptional production value. With a strong and unique emphasis on female perspectives, the series offers captivating storylines that are highly relevant to today’s audience. Supported by a stellar creative team and an excellent international cast, we firmly believe in its significant global potential.”

Rise of the Raven (10x1h) unveils the epic life of army commander Janos Hunyadi who, in grueling 15th century medieval Europe, scores a decisive victory against all odds at the Battle of Belgrade, re-shaping the history of Europe. Hunyadi’s life is plagued by scandal, political power plays, and conspiracies between noble families from Italy, Poland, Austria, Serbia, and Hungary. His strongest allies are the women in his life: Elizabeth, the wife who not only stands by him, but fights alongside him, and Mara Brankovic, his first love, who breaks his heart by becoming lead concubine in Sultan Murad’s court. When the Ottoman Empire mobilizes an army of unprecedented size to march west with the objective of conquering the Vatican and Europe, Hunyadi leads his small but mighty army to the battlefield, sealing a hard-fought victory. In celebration, Pope Callixtus III orders that churches all over the world shall ring their bells each day at noon. And even today, more than five centuries later, they still do.

Opposite Gellert L. Kadar is Hungarian TV, film, and stage star Vivien Rujder, who portrays Elizabeth – a powerful, charismatic, influential character and Hunyadi’s life partner. They are joined by a stellar international cast, including Austria’s Laurence Rupp (Barbarians), Cornelius Obonya (Maria Theresa), Murathan Muslu (Breaking Point), Italy’s  Giancarlo Giannini (James Bond 007: Casino Royale & Quantum of Solace, Hannibal) and Francesco Acquaroli (Fargo, Suburra), multi-awarded Czech actor Karel Roden (Bourne Supremacy, Mr. Bean, The Pleasure Principle), Serbian star Rade Serbedzija (Batman Begins, Mission: Impossible II, Angelina Jolie’s In The Land of Blood and Honey), as well as Italian actors Thomas Trabacchi (Studio Battaglia) and Elena Rusconi (6 Underground).

Directors are Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning Robert Dornhelm (Children of Theatre Street, Vienna Blood, Maria Theresa, War and Peace), and Hungarian directors Orsi Nagypal (The Deal, The CW’s The Outpost) and Attila Szasz (Tall Tales, Eternal Winter). The series’ showrunner is Balazs Lengyel (HBO’s Golden Life), who also directs one episode. The series is written by Lengyel, George Mihalka, Balazs Lovas, Zsófia Ruttkay, Attila Veres, and Ban Mor, on whose best-selling series of novels Rise of the Raven is based on.

The ten-hour epic series is financed by the National Film Institute of Hungary and Beta Film. It is produced by Serendipity Point Films, Twin Media, HG Media, MR Film, and Beta Film. Co-producers are Hungary’s TV2 Network, who will broadcast in Hungary and Slovenia, and co-producer ORF, who will broadcast in Austria. Also producing are Tibor Krsko (Fateless, Children of Glory, The Song of Names), Cecilia Hazai, Kinga Hazai, and Ari Lantos (Remember, Barney’s Version), alongside Oliver Auspitz and Andreas Kamm of MR Film (Vienna Blood), and Koby Gal Raday, Beta Film's CCO.