Hungarian Conservative

Hungarian Historical Drama ‘Hunyadi’ Set for Release in Early 2025

The Statue of John Hunyadi in the City Park in Budapest
József Balaton/MTVA/MTI
The preparatory work lasted three years, while the filming took one year. Director Orsi Nagypál mentioned that reading the foundational novels written by Hungarian contemporary author Mór Bán on the 15th century military leader John Hunyadi, known as the Turk-buster, allowed her to work more authentically and portray the characters’ living conditions and customs more vividly.

At the beginning of next year, commercial television TV2 will air a ten-part series depicting the life of John Hunyadi, the victor of the crucial 1456 Battle of Belgrade (Nándorfehérvár) against the Ottoman Turks, featuring over six hundred actors and stunt performers, as announced on Saturday in Veszprém during the Hungarian Motion Picture Festival, MOZ.GO.

Film director Balázs Lengyel reported that the film is based on Mór Bán’s Hunyadi novel series. He described the challenge of having actors speak in multiple languages, given the numerous locations depicted, including various empires and military leaders of various ethnicities involved in the campaigns. He stated that the actors approached these linguistic challenges with humility and discipline, with many starting their language learning from scratch. For instance, the actors speak Turkish and Italian in the film.

The preparatory work lasted three years, while filming took one year.

Director Orsi Nagypál mentioned that reading the foundational novel allowed her to work more authentically and portray the characters’ living conditions and customs more vividly. She added that directing scenes in Turkish was particularly challenging due to her lack of familiarity with the language.

Hungary, the ‘Bulwark of Christendom’

Vivien Rujder, who plays Hunyadi’s wife and mother of King Mathias I, Erzsébet Szilágyi, expressed her long-standing desire to act in a period film. She admired the costumes but acknowledged the difficulty of wearing the heavy and tight garments for 12 to 16 hours a day. She noted that she became very attached to her character and would have to gradually mourn the role after filming.

Gellért L Kádár, who portrays John Hunyadi, recalled that the filming was preceded by over six months of training, including horse-riding and physical conditioning. He highlighted the great responsibility of portraying one of the most significant figures of Hungarian history.

The series’ producer is Hungarian-born Robert Lantos, with directors including Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning Robert Dornhelm, Orsi Nagypál, Attila Szász, and Balázs Lengyel.

As previously announced, the series will be marketed abroad under the title Rise of the Raven,

in reference to the raven being featured in the Hunyadis’ coat of arms.

The epic ten-hour series was financed by the National Film Institute and Beta Film. TV2 co-produced the series, which will be broadcast in Hungary and Slovenia, while ORF will air it in Austria.


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The preparatory work lasted three years, while the filming took one year. Director Orsi Nagypál mentioned that reading the foundational novels written by Hungarian contemporary author Mór Bán on the 15th century military leader John Hunyadi, known as the Turk-buster, allowed her to work more authentically and portray the characters’ living conditions and customs more vividly.

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