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A reimagining of Mary Shelley’s horror classic Frankenstein, a 1950s drama about the Nazi scientists who helped create the U.S. space program and a post-apocalyptic tale set on a North Sea island are among the new original series unveiled Tuesday by Sky Deutschland, the German arm of Comcast’s European pay TV group Sky.
Sky has commissioned German director Robert Schwenkte (R.E.D., Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins) to helm seven-part sci-fi series Helgoland 513: 2034, based on his original script. The post-apocalyptic drama imagines a world in which the North Sea island of Helgoland has become the last safe haven for humanity. But the totalitarian society in charge dictates that only 513 people be allowed to live on the island, with every resident given a “social ranking” according to their “usefulness.” All the while, a dangerous force from the mainland is preparing to invade and conquer Helgoland. UFA Fiction (Deutschland 83) will produce Helgoland 513: 2034 in association with Sky’s production arm, Sky Studios. Schwentke is set to begin principal photography later this year.
Sky also revealed details of two series currently in development at Sky Studios. Frankenstein Untold is described as a “radical reimagining” of the classic monster tale, taking Mary Shelley’s novel as a jumping-off point to explore the book’s philosophical and political themes, with the story, set in 1816, told through the eyes of eight different characters. Director Philipp Stölzl (The Royal Game, North Face) created Frankenstein Untold and is currently developing the series with producers Neue Schönhauser Film (Back on Track).
Meanwhile, Babylon Berlin co-creator and co-director Achim v. Borries will join forces with Israeli showrunners Ron Leshem and Amit Cohen (Valley of Tears) and The Green Prince director Nadav Schirman on Huntsville AL, another in-development project at Sky Deutschland. The 1950s-set drama is inspired by the true stories of the Nazi German engineers and their families who, after World War II, were recruited by the U.S. military for a secret missile project in a sleepy Alabama town that became the basis of America’s space industry. Huntsville AL is being developed with German group Zeitsprung, Fremantle subsidiary Wildside and Babylon Berlin producer Beta Film.
Sky Studios CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz, Sky Studios Detuschland content executive vp Elke Walthelm and Nils Hartmann, executive vp of Sky Studios for Germany and Italy, unveiled the originals slate at an event in Munich on Tuesday, ahead of the world premiere of Sky original series Munich Games at the Munich Film Festival.
Walthelm said Sky’s 2022 slate would include more than 60 originals, including season 4 of Babylon Berlin and season 2 of 1980s-set dart drama Die Wespe.
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