Netflix Greenlights Dramedy From German Comedy Star Anke Engelke

Anke Engelke
(c) AnJeanne Degraa

In the six-part series 'The Last Word,' Engelke plays a funeral eulogy speaker who sets out to sabotage her husband's funeral.

Netflix has added another big European name to its roster, announcing a new original series featuring German comedy star Anke Engelke.

Netflix has greenlit the six-part German-language dramedy The Last Word, in which Engelke will star as a funeral eulogy speaker who loses faith in her work and loses control over her family. When she realizes she can't let go, she starts to sabotage her own husband’s funeral — until she finds the right words.

Pantaleon Films, the German production company behind two Amazon Prime series —Beat and You Are Wanted — will produce The Last Word.

Aron Lehmann and Carlos V. Irmscher will act as showrunners for the series with Lehmann also directing. Pantaleon's Dan Maag and Daniel Sonnabend will produce for Netflix. The series, based on an idea from Thorsten Merten, was written by Lehmann and Irmscher together with Nora Valo and Carolina Zimmermann.

Engelke is a household name in Germany, famous for comedy turns including a long stint on hit sketch shows Die Wochenshow and Ladykracher. She is also an accomplished dramatic actress, and recently appeared in Amazon's period spy series Deutschland 86.

“I am very much looking forward to The Last Word and this work and journey with Netflix, Pantaleon, the wonderful director Aron Lehmann, the fantastic screenplay and amazing colleagues,” Engelke said in a statement. “Just like in real life, drama and humor are clashing constantly. Family and relationships, loss and grief, life and death, the absurdities of life, the rediscovery of strength and lust for life, it is all in there — so beautiful it makes you cry.”

Netflix is ramping up its German-language production as it expands its operation in Europe's largest TV market. In addition to hit mystery series Dark — whose second season kicks off later this month — and cop drama Dogs of Berlin, the streaming giant has given the green light to a wide range of German-produced series, including sci-fi saga Tribes of Europe, period epic The Barbarians, and Skylines, a drama set in Frankfurt amid the world of high finance and organized crime.