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German anti-war classic Das Boot is getting a sequel.
Germany’s Bavaria Film and pay TV group Sky Deutschland announced Thursday that they are producing an eight-part TV series set right after the events of Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 Oscar-nominated classic.
Tony Saint, who wrote the BBC drama Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley, will co-write the Das Boot script with German screenwriter Johannes W. Betz, whose credits include the award-winning period dramas The Tunnel (2001) and The Spiegel Affair (2014).
Sky plans to premiere the series, budgeted at around $28 million (€25 million) across all five of its European territories in 2018.
Das Boot —The Series starts where the film ended: at La Rochelle harbor where the crew of the U 96 submarine surfaces only to be hit by an Allied bombing attack.
Like the original film, which was based on the best-seller by German writer Lothar-Gunther Buchheim, the Das Boot series will be told from the perspective of the German soldiers. The new series, however, will extend that perspective to include characters from the French resistance, who help the Allies in targeting the German military. The producers say the series will have a strong, anti-war message.
“Telling an anti-war story is now more relevant than ever,” said Bavaria Film CEO Christian Franckenstein. “Terms like war and terror are everywhere, misleading young men through false ideology.”
Oliver Vogel and Moritz Polter will act as executive producers for Bavaria on the project, together with Sky’s Marcus Ammon and Frank Jastfelder.
Das Boot is one of the most successful German films of all time. The original movie, which was also originally made as a miniseries for German TV, has grossed more than $100 million worldwide. The film continues to be a regular feature on German TV, airing 54 times in the period from 2002-2012.
Earlier this month, Das Boot cinematographer Jost Vacano won a decade-old court case for compensation based on the film’s financial success. The court ruled Vacano was owed $540,000 as a share of the nearly $20 million Das Boot has earned in residuals over the past 12 years.
Das Boot —The Series is the latest big-budget project from Germany’s Sky Deutschland, which is beginning to invest heavily in home-grown productions. The network is also backing Tom Tykwer’s period crime drama Babylon Berlin together with German public broadcaster ARD.
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