Trouble is brewing on the sets of Amazon Prime Video’s ambitious spy series Citadel, starring Priyanka Chopra and intended to spawn a global franchise. A difference in creative vision has prompted Prime Video to fire members of the core team and initiate expensive reshoots that have ballooned the budget past the $250 million mark (nearly Rs 2000 crore), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Produced by Joe and Anthony Russo and planned as the ‘mothership’ show under which several local spinoffs could exist — the Indian instalment was being planned by Raj and DK — Citadel ran into problems after Prime Video was displeased by the pilot put together by showrunners Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec. The differences in creative vision has pushed the show into expensive reshoots, THR reports.

While the budget for the first season was originally in the vicinity of $160 million, Prime Video is adding at least another $75 million to accommodate reshoots. THR reports that Citadel is on track to become the second most expensive TV project of all time, behind Prime Video’s own The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, whose first season reportedly cost $465 million. The report cited two sources as saying that the budget for Citadel has hit ‘upwards of $250 million’.

Priyanka and her co-star, Richard Madden, spent most of 2021 filming the series. But the Russos’ focus was devoted to their Netflix film, The Gray Man. They were consulted after Prime Video examined Appelbaum’s pilot, and a decision was made to hand over creative control to Joe Russo. By this time, factions had been created on the production. The report cited a source as saying, “What should have happened was Joe turning to Josh and saying, ‘Let’s get together and fix this’ instead of going solo. That’s not what partners are supposed to do.”

Appelbaum and director Brian Kirk (who helmed five episodes) departed. Newton Thomas Sigel, the cinematographer behind the Russos’ Cherry and their action production Extraction, has been hired to oversee reshoots, while David Weil has been hired to perform rewrites. Sigel has experience stepping in as director on troubled productions — he previously worked extensively with director Brian Singer, who was notorious for leaving his sets in the lurch.

The Russos are fast developing a reputation as spendthrift filmmakers, THR reports. The Gray Man remains Netflix’s most expensive film, with a budget of over $250 million. Their mid-budget film Cherry also made news for cost overruns. Their two Avengers movies — Infinity War and Endgame — cost a combined $800 million, according to some reports.

Citadel is now in post-production, but a release date hasn’t yet been announced.

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