The Russo brothers' upcoming Amazon series Citadel has quietly become one of the most expensive TV shows ever produced. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the spy thriller is costing the studio around $200 million (£173.2m), following its creative team swap-out, COVID-19 measures, and extensive reshoots.
In a new report, the publication claims that clashes over where to take the series, which was designed to spawn location-hopping spin-offs and has been executive produced by Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo, led to half of the crew dropping out of the project. The seven episodes are said to have initially set Amazon back $160 million, but an additional $75 million has since been spent – though its seemingly bottomless budget is nowhere close to that of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power's reported $465 million.
Cast members Priyanka Chopra, Richard Madden, and Stanley Tucci filmed a version of Citadel throughout most of 2021. However, at the time, the Russos were heavily involved with Netflix's The Gray Man, another franchise-starting vehicle, and it's believed that the duo were not very present for the shooting of Citadel.
Upon completion, the twosome's vision for the TV series didn't align with that of writers André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum, who was serving as showrunners at the time. Two competing cuts were made and, as THR puts it, Amazon "bet on" the Russos, and Appelbaum was let go.
With that decision, Game of Thrones' Brian Kirk, who directed five out of the seven episodes, also exited the project, along with line producer Sarah Bradshaw and several others. With the Russos, and their label AGBO, assuming power over the show, David Weil – previously a writer on Amazon's star-studded series Solos – was brought in to rewrite the scripts, while Thomas Sigel, who directed two of the original episodes, oversaw the reshoots.
Citadel is said to be in post-production now, but there's been no word as to when it will land on the streaming service. While we wait for confirmation on its release date, check out our list of the best shows on Amazon Prime Video for some viewing inspiration.