Berlin: Constantin Unveils New TV Slate

Perfume Series Still
Constantin Film

The German studio is ramping up its small-screen production with new shows including a TV adaptation of 'We Children of Bahnhof Zoo' and a new period drama 'The Palast' about East Berlin's Friedrichstadt-Palast.

Constantin Film, Germany's leading indie production company, unveiled its new slate of high-end series Monday as part of the Berlin Film Festival's Berlinale Series section on small-screen productions.

The big new show announced was Der Palast (The Palast) from famed director Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex), a period drama set at famed eastern Berlin theater the Friedrichstadt-Palast. The drama takes place shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall and follows a young woman from West Germany who travels to the East and catches a show at the legendary Friedrichstadt-Palast, home to the largest stage in the world. On stage she recognizes her identical twin, a sister she never knew she had. Constantin will produce the show for German public broadcaster ZDF. Rodica Doehnert (Adlon Hotel) will act as head writer. Kathrin Bullemer and Rüdiger Böss will produce. Global Screen will handling international sales for the project.

Constantin also screened a sizzle reel from We Children From Bahnhof Zoo, its new TV adaptation of the cult 1978 autobiographical book about underage heroin addicts living around the then-notorious Berlin Zoo train station. The book was adapted by Edel as the 1981 German classic Christine F. Constantin is producing We Children From Bahnhof Zoo together with Amazon Prime. Fremantle International is distributing the series internationally.

Annette Hess (Weissensee) is the head writer and creative producer of the series, which is produced by Oliver Berben, head of TV, entertainment and digital media at Constantin, and Sophie von Uslar (NSU: German History X). Hess said the series is not set in a specific time period It began shooting in July

Constantin is ramping up its TV drama business and scouring its rights catalog for properties. Perfume, its modern-day adaptation of Perfume: A Story of a Murderer (Tom Tykwer directed the 2006 feature film), screened on German network ZDFNeo locally and on Netflix worldwide.

A TV version of Peter Hoeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow (adapted as a 1997 film starring Julia Ormond) is also in the works. And fans of Constantin's sci-fi horror franchise Resident Evil can look forward to more zombie killing in a TV version of the hit video game, also with Netflix. Constantin is also planning an epic film and six-part TV series from David Wnendt (Look Who's Back) adapted from Wolfgang Hohlbein's 1986 novel Hagen von Tronje, an updated version of the German Nibelung saga, a tale of dragons, dwarfs and magic credited as a major inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Oliver Berben, head of TV, entertainment and digital media at Constantin introduced the slate in Berlin on Tuesday.