Petr Jákl is a writer, director and producer of 2022’s historical action film MEDIEVAL. This latest endeavor stars Michael Caine, Ben Foster, Til Schweiger, and Matthew Goode. In 2020 Jákl also produced Lionsgate/Roadside’s THE LAST FULL MEASURE, starring Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Ed Harris, Peter Fonda and Samuel L. Jackson. He also produced 2021’s AXIS SALLY starring Al Pacino, MISFITS starring Pierce Brosnan and BEST SELLERS starring Aubrey Plaza and Michael Caine. Over the preceding years he has worked with numerous other renowned actors, including Robert DeNiro, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Mila Jovovich and Vin Diesel.
Jákl’s path to filmmaking was not typical. During his early years in the Czech Republic, he devoted himself entirely to Judo. He became the ten-time National Champion of his country, before winning the Judo World Cup and two Bronze Medals at the Academic World Championships. His hard work culminated with a place at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, where he respectfully represented his country.
But Judo is a young man’s game, and along the way, Jákl quietly began another career path. With the same patience and determination with which he had focused on sport, he began training and working as an actor and stuntman. He was fortunate enough to land roles, in Czech and European films such as The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999/Luc Besson) and Hollywood blockbusters including xXx (2002/Rob Cohen). Both Cohen and Besson were gracious enough to encourage him to expand his studies and career to writing, directing and producing.
His directorial and writing debut came with KAJINEK (2010, Czech language). The political thriller had the highest box office opening weekend in Czech history, and remains the highest grossing Czech ‘thriller’. It was also a critical success, receiving the Czech Lion for best supporting actor, and the main prize at the Belgium Film Festival in Liege. GHOUL followed (2015, English) and became the highest grossing ‘horror’ film in Czech history. GHOUL also received the main award at Grossmann Fantastic Festival. Jákl is very much looking forward to the release of his third film Medieval (2022), an action-filled biopic. He is hopeful that his film resonates internationally, but more so of a favorable reception in his home country – as it is the story Jan Zizka, the Czech Republic’s closest character to William Wallace in ‘Braveheart.’
In addition to his work as a director, Jákl has set up a fund focused on development, which now includes projects such as CALICO JOE, adapted from the John Grisham novel by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, and co-produced with Bob Dylan.
Selected acting filmography:
- Borgia (TV ser., FR, DE, CZ 2011)
- Kajínek (CZ 2010)
- Bathory (GB, CZ, SK, HU 2008)
- Born Into Shit (CZ 2006)
- Pterodactyl (US 2005)
- AVP: Alien vs. Predator (US 2004)
- Eurotrip (US 2004)
- Krysař (CZ 2003)
- Men of Action (US 2003)
- xXx (US 2002)
- Angelina (FR 2001)
- Bad Company (US 2001)
- Nebát se a nakrást (CZ 1999)
- The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (FR 1999)
- The Way through Hell (CZ 1995)
Directing and producing filmography:
- Medieval (pre-production) – director, screenwriter, producer
- Ghoul (2015), horror film – director, co-screenwriter, producer
- Kajínek (2010), thriller – director, screenwriter, producer
- Krysař (2003), musical – producer Poslední sezona (2006), TV series – producer