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Elyas M’Barek, star of Who Am I and hit German comedy franchise Fack ju Göhte, and Deutschland 89 lead Jonas Nay have been cast to star in 1000 Zeilen (1000 Lines), a media satire inspired by the real-life 2018 fake news scandal involving disgraced Der Spiegel journalist Claas Relotius.
Nay will play Lars Bogenius, an award-winning star writer at a major German news magazine who secretly has been faking his interviews and reporting. The only one who suspects him is Romero (M’Barek), a fellow journalist who risks his career, and even his family, to bring the truth to light.
The film is inspired by the book, Tausend Zeilen Lüge (1000 Lines of :ies) from Juan Morenos, the Spiegel reporter who exposed Relotius. Michael Bully Herbig (Balloon), will direct 1000 Zeilen from a script by Hermann Florin, who will also produce through his Feine Filme production company.
Sebastian Werninger of UFA Fiction, a subsidiary of Fremantle and the company behind Deutschland 89, will produce together with Feine Filme in co-production with Warner Bros. Germany. Shooting is set to begin this summer in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg and Spain.
The real Claas Relotius was a superstar German journalist — he won CNN’s Journalist of the Year award in 2014 — but his career came crashing down after he admitted to fabricating material in at least 14 investigative articles he wrote, including inventing a phone interview with the parents of Colin Kaepernick and falsely reporting that a sign on the edge of a Minnesota town read “Mexicans Keep Out.”
Florin called Relotius’ story a superb leaping off point for media satire, saying it was both incredibly amusing “but also tells a lot about our political and media reality.”
In a nod to Relotius’ approach to fact-based truth, director Herbig noted: “Any similarities to untrue events are purely coincidental.”
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