The eight-part thriller is created by James Watkins and Hossein Amini, starring James Norton, David Strathairn, Merab Nininidze, Faye Marsay, Juliet Rylance, Aleksey Serebryakov, Maria Shukshina, Caio Blat. The show charts the journey of Alex Godman (Norton), a young hedge fund manager and English-raised son of Russian exiles with mob connections, into the world of organised crime.
Watkins directed all eight episodes between September 2016 and July 2017, with the crew filming in Croatia during the winter of 2016 and in May 2017.
"We shot in many territories around the world, main and second unit, to give us that breadth of scale. We were in London, Croatia, Serbia, Qatar, India, Turkey, Czech Republic, and Israel. None of the story is actually set in Croatia but Croatia is incredibly impressive in how it can double for so many places, there is such a variety of landscape and architecture", said Watkins.
Various Croatian locations stood for South of France, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Istanbul, Moscow, Prague, India, Pakistan and London – for scenes set in the Norwegian embassy.
Speaking of his experience of filming in various locations, Norton pointed that the main unit mostly focused on London and Croatia. "It was an eye opener filming in Croatia, which is an amazing place. It’s so versatile, the crew, the weather and how it was able to cater for an incredible number of countries".
The filming of McMafia was made possible through the Croatian Audiovisual Centre's incentives program. More than 150 local film professionals were engaged on set, along with more than 3000 extras.