Universum, Rat Pack revive 'Dr. Mabuse'


COLOGNE, Germany -- Bertelsmann's film distribution and production group Universum Film has signed on with Munich-based production group Rat Pack ("The Wave") to produce a new adaptation of the pulp novel "Dr. Mabuse."

Originally published in 1921, the Norbert Jacques' novel follows a master criminal who uses hypnotism and assorted disguises to carry out his plans for world domination. Dr. Mabuse was made famous through a dozen film adaptations, including three by Fritz Lang.

Universum recently picked up the remake rights to "Dr. Mabuse" from producer Artur Brauner, who made several "Mabuse" film adaptations in the 1960s.

Rat Pack will produce the new "Dr. Mabuse" film together with Universum and Brauner's CCC Filmkunst. Shooting is planned for 2009/2010.

Rat Pack, headed by Christian Becker, has a solid track record with adapting German vintage fiction for a new generation. The comedies "The Trixxer" (2004) and "The Vexxer" (2007), which together sold almost three million tickets in Germany, were based on the Edgar Wallace paranormal thrillers of the 1960s and 1970s.

Rat Pack is currently in pre-production on a modern-day update of the "Jerry Cotton" German crime films of the 1960s.