Lee Pace in Foundation (2021)

Apple TV+ series ‘Foundation’ resumes shooting third season in the Czech Republic

As of last week, production on the third season of the Apple TV+ series Foundation has resumed filming in the Czech Republic. Shooting for the large-scale project based on Isaac Asimov’s series of novels originally began last spring, but was suspended due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Cast and crew for Foundation returned to the Czech Republic earlier this year as pre-production work kicked off at Prague Studios. However, location filming first resumed in neighboring Poland. Foundation‘s Prague shoot is expected to run through the end of July, one year after filming on the third season was suspended due to the strike.

In Poland, Foundation filmmakers took advantage of some of the country’s striking architecture, including the historic Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw. As cameras rolled, however, a major scandal at the Polish Film Institute involving misuse of cinematography funds unfolded, leading to the dismissal of its director, Radosław Śmigulski.

It’s not immediately clear if the Polish Film Institute scandal will impact future production of Foundation in the region. Prague filmmakers are hopeful season four will return to film in the Czech Republic.

“We have rented our seven studios, along with all offices, workshops, and warehouses, for the filming of Foundation since January 2023,” Prague Studios‘ Jindřich Guttner told Czech News Agency this week. “Due to the strike and the interrupted production, we expect the rental to continue until the end of August this year. By then, we will know whether the series will continue filming here for its next season.”

To date, Foundation producers have spent an estimated CZK 2.5 billion ($110 million) in the Czech Republic on the local production of season two and half of season three, according to the Czech Audiovisual Producers’ Association. It’s estimated that another CZK 1 billion ($44 million) will be spent to complete season three.

The production of Foundation in the Czech Republic has employed approximately 4,000 members of the local film industry. Czech crew members also participated in the shoot on Polish locations.

Foundation brought together all the elements that attract foreign filmmakers to our country—unique locations, top-notch professionals across various fields of film, and a system of film incentives,” Vratislav Šlajer, Chairman of the Board of the Audiovisual Producers’ Association, told Czech News Agency.

“This requires ongoing attention because similar systems that attract filmmakers exist in nearly a hundred countries worldwide.”

Based on the long-running series of novels by legendary sci-fi author Isaac AsimovFoundation charts the story of a group of otherworldly exiles who band together to ensure the future of humanity. Asimov based many of the ideas in his story on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, and published his original trilogy of Foundation novels in the 1950s.

Foundation stars Lee PaceJared HarrisLou Llobell, and Leah Harvey in its primary roles, with a supporting cast featuring Laura BirnCassian BiltonTerrence MannIsabella LaughlandKulvinder GhirElla-Rae SmithHolt McCallanyRachel HouseNimrat KaurBen Daniels and Dimitri Leonidas.

After a quiet winter season following last year’s strikes, members of the local industry anticipate a busy second half of the year as production on the third season of Foundation wraps. The German Disney+ series City of Night is also currently filming in Prague, and Blade Runner 2099, one of the largest productions to come to the Czech Republic, is now expected to begin production in July with a cast led by Oscar-winning actress Michelle Yeoh.

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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