Terry Gilliam’s $75m Brothers Grimm kicks off its 17-week shoot in Prague today, with Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Lena Heady, Peter Stormare and Jonathan Pryce in the main roles.

The shoot will travel around the Czech Republic for the next two weeks, with Czech castle and cathedral towns including Krivoklat, Kacina, Kutna Hora and Ledec doubling for the 19th-century German countryside.

MGM and Miramax, via its Dimension subsidiary, are teaming up on the fantasy production, which casts Damon and Ledger as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the fairy-tale brothers, who in Gilliam’s version are “Jake and Will,” two 19th-century con artists who meet their match when they encounter an actual curse. Gilliam, Ehren Kruger and Tony Grisoni wrote the screenplay.

Robin Williams is no longer on board, and recent negotiations with Nicole Kidman for a small part failed to pan out, a source on the set told Screendaily.

Charles Roven and Daniel Bobker are producing, with John D Scofield as executive producer. Director of Photographer is Nicola Pecorini, Gabriella Pescucci is handing costume design and Guy Hendrix Dyas serves as production designer.

Prague-based upstart production service company Reforma Films is overseeing services for the shoot, which is based at Prague’s Barrandov studio complex, together with Etic.