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Akin’s Bombero International are producing the five-part series, with the working title Marlene, together with German mini-major UFA Fiction, based on the biography of Dietrich, Meine Mutter Marlene (My Mother Marlene), written by Dietrich’s daughter Maria Riva. Akin will adapt the book for the screen in his first television project. Kruger will also executive produce.
Kruger starred in Akin’s In the Fade as a woman who takes revenge for the racially-motivated killing of her ethnic Turkish husband. The film premiered at Cannes in 2017, where Kruger won the best actress prize.
“With Fatih’s talent and ability to see inside the soul of every person, I’m certain that this won’t just be a series about the icon and worldstar Marlene Dietrich but most of all an intimate portrait of this singular woman living through an extraordinary epoch,” Kruger said in a statement. “I can’t wait to get in front of Fatih’s camera again and together put Marlene Dietrich back in the spotlight.”
Akin called the project “the greatest challenge” of his career but said Kruger was the perfect actor to play Dietrich.
“No one could be better cast that her. Marlene wasn’t just a cinema icon, but a woman in exile, a German migrant to America, a resistance fighter and much more,” Akin said. “She was also a UFA artist, which is why I’m even happier that the series has found its home there.”
Added UFA Fiction’s Nico Hofmann and Sebastian Werninger, both producers on the series: “Marlene Dietrich is an icon of our time: in her open attitude towards sexuality, her clear [anti-war] stance in Nazi Germany, her cosmopolitan nature and in her embrace of diversity…Marlene Dietrich is [both] myth and legacy, one of the greatest German biographies that has never been told in its true complexity.”
Akin and Nurhan Sekerci-Porst are producing Marlene for Bombero International, together with Werninger, Hofmann and Herman Weigel at UFA Fiction. Kruger, Maria Riva and Scott Levenson are executive producing. Peter Riva is co-producing.
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