Berlin: Germany's Carte Blanche Planning Angela Merkel Refugee Drama (Exclusive)

Die Getriebenen

Alexander van Dulmen and Stephan Wagner joint venture production has secured rights to non-fiction bestseller 'Die Getriebenen,' which chronicles the German leader's decisions during the 2015 refugee crisis.

Carte Blanche International (CBI) the new production group set up by German industry veterans Alexander van Dulmen and Stephan Wagner, has secured the film and TV rights for Die Getriebenen, a non-fiction bestseller by German journalist Robin Alexander, which traces the political decisions made by German leader Angela Merkel during the 2015 refugee crisis.

Carte Blanche is looking to adapt the book, whose title roughly translates as “The Driven” both as a German mini-series and as international feature film, focusing on the crucial periods in Merkel's life. When millions of refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria began to flood into Europe, the German chancellor, known for her cautious and analytical approach to politics, made the abrupt — and among major Western leaders unique — decision to open her country's borders. While many praised her for her moral stance, the move also strengthened the far-right in Germany and hurt Merkel at last year's national elections.

“It was really the only real 'from the gut' decision Merkel has ever made, and it had a huge impact on European and global politics,” says van Dulmen. “Merkel is not only the most powerful woman in the world, but a figure of hope for all those who defend humanist and democratic values against the currents of populism and nationalism.”

Van Dulmen said the planned film, which is still in development, is conceived in the vein of Stephen Frears' The Queen: As a snapshot of the woman and the period.

Carte Blanche is also working on an adaptation of the novel Winternahe from Berlin Jewish writer Mirna Funk, the story of a young Jewish woman who travels from Berlin to Tel Aviv to Bangkok and back in search of her own identity. The company is developing the project together with Naked Eye, producers of 2014 drama Labyrinth of Lies. And the group is developing a TV series based on the life of Catherine the Great, which screenwriter Heinrich Hadding (Pope Joan) is scripting.

20th Century Fox in Germany has just come aboard another Carte Blanche production, the Stasi drama Weihnachten Sind Wir Tot (We'll Be Dead by Christmas) which Wagner will direct and which features German stars Frederick Lau (Victoria), Milan Peschel (Stopped on Track) and Devid Striesow (The Counterfeiters).