Tom Tykwer Drama 'Babylon Berlin' to Air on Sky Deutschland in 2017

Tom Tykwer - P 2012
Getty Images

Volker Bruch will star in the show based on the first novel in a popular crime drama series set in the 1920s, which German public broadcaster ARD will show in 2018.

Tom Tykwer's upcoming 1920s crime series Babylon Berlin will start shooting in April, producers said in Berlin on Wednesday.

The show will premiere on Sky Deutschland, part of pan-European pay TV giant Sky, in 2017 and on German public broadcaster ARD in 2018.

The first castmembers were also announced on Wednesday. Volker Bruch (The Reader) will play the lead character, while Liv Lisa Fries (The Wave) will play his lover.

Sky is co-financing the series, which got a 16-episode order for two seasons and is budgeted at $45 million (40 million euros), with ARD. Just over half the budget comes from the partners, with the rest financed through international sales, which Beta Film is handling.

Babylon Berlin will be the first-ever German production from Sky Deutschland as the German arm of Sky is taking a page from the playbook of Sky in the U.K. and Sky Italia by betting on high-end original local drama.

Babylon Berlin is based on the best-selling novel Der Nasse Fisch (The Wet Fish) by German writer Volker Kutscher, the first of his Gereon Rath novels. Set in 1920s Berlin, they follow police detective Rath, who is transferred to Berlin and tries to solve crimes in a city torn by social and political upheaval in the years leading up to Adolf Hitler's rise to power.

The series was co-written and will be co-directed by Tykwer, Hendrik Handloegten and Achim von Borries.

More to come ...