David Ondříček explained why the six-time winner of the Czech Lion chose this particular topic before the screening. “I loved the film King of Šumava as a child. It was both a horror and an adventure film for me,” he paid tribute to director Karel Kachyň, who made it in 1959. “Who would have thought, fifteen years ago, that I would be making historical films. But the 40s and 50s are very interesting to me in the context of today. At the moment when we see the conflicts of today’s world, it is even more relevant,” he told Práv some time ago, while filming his King of the Šumava.
The author of the literary work, David Jan Žák, also played a small role in the series. His novel The Return of the Šumava King, which is the story of a smuggler from the Šumava borderlands, is based not only on Hasil’s memories, but also on the testimonies of witnesses and archival documents. The screenplay based on the novel was written by Tomáš Vávra (the coincidence of the surnames is only accidental) with David Ondříček.
The series premiered already on November 9 in Husinc, where the creators invited the relatives of the legendary smuggler, led by his only son Josef Vávra, who was also at the Monday premiere in Lucerne, and nephew Jaroslav Hasil. Their opinion, which was more than positive, mattered a lot to the director.
People will see Oskar Hes, Vojtěch Vodochodský, Jan Nedbal, Gabriela Heclová, Kristýna Ryška and Judit Bárdos in the main roles of the miniseries.