Cassian Elwes to Co-Produce Biopic of Czech National Hero

Emma McIntyre/WireImage
Cassian Elwes

The movie, directed by Petr Jakl, will center on 15th century warrior Jan Zizka.

Czech production company JBJ Films has entered a co-production deal with Hollywood producer Cassian Elwes to make the most expensive Czech movie of all time.

JBJ and Elwes’ Elevated Films will co-produce a biopic of 15th century Czech warrior Jan Zizka, announced JBJ head Petr Jakl, who will also direct the movie.

With an estimated budget of at least 275 million Czech crowns ($13.4 million), the film will become the most expensive Czech film to date, local online magazine Moviezone reported. The previous record budget was 230 million crowns ($11.2 million) for the 2002 movie Dark Blue World, directed by Jan Sverak.

JBJ wouldn't say at this point what rights Elevated Films will have, but stressed that it will be the majority owner of the production. The movie will be shot exclusively in the Czech Republic, while the cast and crew are expected to come from both the U.S. and the Czech Republic.

The Britain-born Elwes is known for such movies as Queen of the Desert, Elvis & Nixon, Blue Valentine, Margin Call and Mudbound.

Jakl's previous directorial effort was the 2015 horror movie Ghoul, which focused on three American filmmakers who become the targets of the evil spirit of a violent cannibal.

The Zizka biopic is set to go into production this summer. Zizka is a Czech national hero and one of the country's most renowned military leaders of all time. He is known for his role in the Battle of Grunwald against the Teutonic Order and civil wars in Bohemia, which went on to become the contemporary Czech Republic.