PRODUCTION: Last Part of Ambitious International Project Maria-Theresa Enters Postproduction

    Maria-Theresa by Robert Dornhelm Maria-Theresa by Robert Dornhelm credit: Česká televize

    PRAGUE: The last part of the international coproduction Maria-Theresa, covering the last 20 years in the life of the empress, is currently in postproduction. The fifth feature long part was shot between 10 April and 3 June 2021, and it is set to premiere at the beginning of 2022.

    The romanticised life story of the only Austrian empress Maria Theresa is coproduced by the Czech Republic (Czech Television), Austria (ORF), Slovakia (RTVS) and Germany-France (ARTE). The series was shot in the Czech Republic, directed by Austrian-based director Robert Dornhelm, and stars an international cast, being simultaneously dubbed in several languages. Jan Novotný is producing from the Czech Republic.

    Maria Theresa will be played by the Austrian actress Ursula Strauss, who is superseding Marie-Luise Stockinger and Steffi Reinsperger. The cast includes Vojtěch Kotek, Aaron Friesz, Táňa Pauhofová, David Švehlík and Stanislav Majer. Mirka Zlatníková wrote the script.

    The first two parts aired in 2017. The first one had 2.1 m viewers on the Czech Television and was also successful in the other coproducing countries. Parts three and four followed in 2019.

    The last part was delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic, but the spokeswoman of the Czech Television Karolína Blinková told FNE that except the change of schedule itself the production went as planned. “The budget remained on the level of the previous parts despite the pandemic restrictions,” Blinková said. The budget has not been disclosed.

    Maria Theresa remains a well-known figure in the countries she reigned upon, with various attitudes towards her. According to the creative producer Jan Maxa: "It was very difficult and enlightening to debate about the script, as we learned how differently we view some historical moments and the role of key figures in them." The series decided to celebrate her as a woman who lived through turbulent times and managed to secure absolute power despite all odds and expectations.

    Production Information:

    Czech Television (Czech Republic)
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    ORF (Austria)
    RTVS (Slovakia)
    ARTE (Germany, France)
    Maya (Czech Republic)
    Beta Film (Germany)

    Director: Robert Dornhelm
    Scriptwriter: Mirka Zlatníková
    Cast: Vojtěch Kotek, Aaron Friesz, Táňa Pauhofová, David Švehlík, Stanislav Majer