'The Counterfeiters' Director Stefan Ruzowitzky to Helm Original Series for Sky Deutschland

Babylon Berlin
Tom Tykwer

'Eight Days' follows a German family in the last days before a meteorite is set to crash into Europe.

German pay-TV group Sky Deutschland has commissioned its second major drama series, giving an eight-episode order for the end-of-the-world drama Eight Days.

Oscar-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) has signed on to direct the series, which follows a German family living through what they expect will be the last eight days of human existence.

With an asteroid plummeting toward earth and set to crash somewhere in Europe in exactly eight days, the entire continent is desperate to escape destruction and flee to a safe place.

Up-and-coming filmmakers Philipp Leinemann (The King's Surrender) and Michael Krummenacher (Wonderland) will co-direct the series from Munich-based production house Neuesuper. Simon Amberger, Korbinian Dufter and Rafael Parente will produce for Sky, which will have exclusive rights to Eight Days in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Shooting is set to begin next year for broadcast in 2018.

Sky says the series will be free of "Hollywood disaster cliches" and instead tell the story of an ordinary family in Berlin and examine the question: If the end was near, how would you spend your final days?

Sky Deutschland is betting big on home-grown drama as it looks to compete with international streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Next year, Sky will premiere the mega-budget period drama Babylon Berlin, a crime series set in 1920s Berlin co-directed by Tom Tykwer, Hendrik Handloegten and Achim von Borries. Budgeted at $45 million for the first two seasons, the series, which Sky is co-financing with German public broadcaster ARD, Babylon Berlin is the most expensive German-language series of all time.