The Borgias take over Korda Studios


    Showtime's series recounting the historic court intrigues of Italy's Borgia dynasty, starring Jeremy Irons, has filled out 50 percent of Hungary's Korda Studios for production.

    Following up on the hit series The Tudors, Showtime Networks (www.sho.com) launched The Borgias, with 10 episodes centered on the infamous Italian Renaissance family at the peak of their reign. Pre-production began at Korda (www.kordastudio.hu) in April, principal photography started July 26, and the shoot wraps in December.

    A major feature in terms of costumes and sets, the project has booked stages, a workshop, office, dressing rooms and screening facilities plus an expansive 15th century back lot location. "The Borgias chose Hungary because of the 20 percent cash-back rebate, which is valid for TV films and mini-series, and because of the quality of Hungarian film crews," said Tamás Csapó, CEO and President of Korda Studios. New, high-quality facilities, the studio backlot and surrounding countryside locations also factored in.

    The Showtime Networks series is a co-production between Ireland's Octogon Films, Canada's Take 5 Productions and Hungary's Mid Atlantic Films, represented by Adam Goodman. Showtime Networks and Canada's CTV (www.ctv.ca) will distribute with North American premiere planned for next year.

    Executive producer and director is Neil Jordan with other directors, Simon Cellan Jones, John Maybury, and Jeremy Podeswa contributing to the first season. Canadian Paul Sarossy is shooting and the cast includes Colm Feore, Halliday Grainger, Francois Arnaud, and Irons, who plays Rodrigo Borgia.