The Letter for the King TV Series Overview (2020)


Introduction

The Letter for the King is a coming-of-age fantasy adventure television series developed by Will Davies and FilmWave for Netflix inspired by the classic 1962 Dutch novel De brief voor de Koning by Tonke Dragt.

The six-episode series was released on Netflix on 20 March 2020.

Outline

A young aspiring knight Tiuri (Amir Wilson) finds himself on a perilous mission to deliver a secret letter to the King who lives across the Great Mountains.

Cast

  • Main:
    • Amir Wilson as Tiuri.
    • Ruby Ashbourne Serkis as Lavinia.
    • Thaddea Graham as Iona.
    • Islam Bouakkaz as Arman.
    • Jonah Lees as Jussipo.
    • Jack Barton as Foldo.
    • Nathanael Saleh as Piak.
    • Gijs Blom as Prince Viridian.
    • Emilie Cocquerel as Queen Alianor.
    • Peter Ferdinando as Jaro.
  • Recurring and supporting:
    • Kemi-Bo Jacobs as Darya.
    • David Wenham as Sir Tiuri the Valiant.
    • Omid Djalili as Sir Fantumar.
    • Ken Nwosu as Ristridin.
    • Yorick van Wageningen as King Favian.
    • Jakob Oftebro as Prince Iridian.
    • Tawfeek Barhom as Jabroot.
  • Notable guests:
    • Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson as Bors.
    • Ben Chaplin as The Black Knight.
    • Fionn O’Shea as Tristan.
    • Andy Serkis as Mayor of Mistrinaut.
    • Kim Bodnia as Abbot.
    • David Wilmot as Slupor.
    • Lisa Loven Kongsli as Shona.
    • Peter McCauley as General.

Production

Development

In July 2018, it was announced Netflix had ordered an original series based on Tonke Dragt’s De brief voor de Koning with Will Davies as showrunner and executive producer. This is the first Netflix adaptation of a Dutch book, although it will be adapted in English; the series is titled after the English translation, which was published in 2014. FilmWave acquired the international rights in a deal with Leopold. Paul Trijbits of FilmWave is executive producing, Chris Clark is producing, and Alex Holmes and Felix Thompson are directing.

Casting

The cast was announced in December 2018 with Amir Wilson in the lead role.

Filming

Principal photography took place in New Zealand and Prague, Czech Republic.

Music

Brandon Campbell composed the music for the series. “It’s an orchestral, adventure score, but we wove in a lot of Western elements. There are acoustic guitars, some vocals, the fiddle, and trumpet. Our approach to this project, and our vision as it came together, was a Western that takes place in the middle of this magical adventure,” he told Awards Daily.

Jussipo uses the score of “In Hell, I’ll Be in Good Company” from the band “The Dead South” as music for his songs, this music is also sung for his burial.

Release

First-look promotional pictures were released in January 2020 followed by a teaser and trailer in February.

Trivia

  • Author Tonke Dragt was consulted on the adaptation of her book and approved of most of the changes, such as expanding or condensing characters, and bigger roles for women.
    • The inclusion of magical elements was taken from the novel’s sequel, ‘Secrets of the Wild Woods’ (where it features more subtly); Dragt reluctantly accepted it, stating that she “probably would have put up more of a fight, had I been younger”.
    • The only thing she outright vetoed was the initial removal of the character Piak, who was added back in subsequent drafts.
  • The series is adapted from a Dutch novel by Tonke Dragt written in 1962.
    • Although translated in many languages, an English version was not available until 2014, but its popularity in the UK was the engine behind this series adaptation, nearly 60 years after the book’s release.
  • Andy Serkis who plays Mayor of Mistrinaut and Ruby Ashbourne Serkis who plays Lavinia are both father and daughter in the show and in real life.

The Letter for the King Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Felix Thompson … (3 episodes, 2020).
    • Alex Holmes … (2 episodes, 2020).
    • Charles Martin … (1 episode, 2020).
  • Producer(s):
    • Marina Brackenbury … development producer (6 episodes, 2020).
    • Chris Clark … series producer (6 episodes, 2020).
    • Danny de Warren … co-producer / co-producer (6 episodes, 2020).
    • Chloe Moss … supervising producer (6 episodes, 2020).
    • Joanna Thapa … line producer / line producer (6 episodes, 2020).
    • Silvie Michajlova … service producer- czech republic (1 episode, 2020).
    • Fady Salame … service producer- czech republic (1 episode, 2020).
    • Will Davies … Showrunner (2018-2019) (unknown episodes).
    • Richard Fletcher … consulting producer (2018-2019) (unknown episodes).
    • Jan Kallista … line producer (2018-2019) (unknown episodes).
    • Emma Slade … line producer (2018-2019) (unknown episodes).
    • Paul Trijbits … executive producer (unknown episodes).
  • Writer(s):
    • William Davies … (creator and writer) (6 episodes, 2020).
    • Tonke Dragt … (based on the novel by) (6 episodes, 2020).
    • Harry Cripps … (written by) (1 episode, 2020).
    • Stacey Gregg … (written by) (1 episode, 2020).
    • Rose Heiney … (written by) (1 episode, 2020).
    • Joy C. Mitchell … (written by) (1 episode, 2020).
  • Music:
    • Brandon Campbell … (6 episodes, 2020).
  • Cinematography:
    • Petra Korner … (3 episodes, 2020).
    • Larry Smith … (3 episodes, 2020).
  • Editor(s):
    • Jesse Parker … (3 episodes, 2020).
    • Oral Norrie Ottey … (2 episodes, 2020).
    • Fin Oates … (1 episode, 2020).
  • Production:
    • FilmWave.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Netflix (2020) (World-wide) (video) (VOD).
    • Netflix (2020) (Argentina) (video) (VOD).
    • Netflix (2020) (Singapore) (video) (VOD).
    • Netflix (2020) (USA) (video) (VOD).
  • Release Date: 20 March 2020.
  • Rating: PG.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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