Netflix unveiled a raft of new German-language original series and films on Tuesday and showed first footage of previously unveiled programming from the Germany/Austria/Switzerland region.
“The projects are part of Netflix’s push into local content with a doubling of investments to 500 million euros ($570 million) between 2021 and 2023,” he company said.
During the company’s second virtual “Netflix Content Remote Show,” executives from the streamer’s team in the German-language countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, presented highlights of upcoming programming and featured some content creators and actors. German actress Hadnet Tesfai, who was born in Eritrea, hosted the event, which showcased a total of nine series, five films and five non-fiction titles.
Several high-profile shows on the slate will focus on murder. Steffi Ackermann, director of local-language series for the German-language region, unveiled several new German-language shows for the streamer, among them Achtsam Morden (Kiling Mindfully), based on the novel of the same name by Karsten Dusse, which topped German bestseller lists for months. It tells the story of a successful lawyer who, to save his marriage, finds a new work-life balance with the help of a mindfulness seminar and accidentally becomes a murderer in the process.
Other newly unveiled series include Kleo, about a woman from the German Democratic Republic who used to work as a Stasi killer and goes on a vendetta in the newly reunified Berlin, and thriller series Liebes Kind (Dear Child, working title), based on the novel by Romy Hausmann that explores “the power of obsession” and “human abysses in their darkest depths.”
Among the other shows on Netflix’s German-language slate featured on Tuesday were the previously unveiled Totenfrau, a revenge thriller centered on a female undertaker (portrayed by Dogs of Berlin‘s Anna Maria Mühe) that is based on a series of novels by Bernhard Aichner and directed by Nicolai Rohde as a co-production with Austrian public broadcaster ORF (with which it also co-produced Freud) and King of Stonks (previous working title: Cable Cash) from the creators of How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast), which is described as “inspired by real events in the financial world” and explores megalomania and narcissism.
Among the series creators featured during Tuesday’s virtual event were the likes of Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, co-creators of German original hit drama Dark who touted their upcoming period horror/mystery series 1899, about a group of European migrants who leave London on a steamship to start new lives in New York City, but encounter another migrant ship adrift on the open sea, turning their journey into a nightmare, and the team behind How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast).
Ackermann also showed first footage from the likes of period drama The Empress, the dark saga of Sissi of Austria.
“Our announcements of the novel adaptations Achtsam Morden and Liebes Kind make our whole series team proud, and we can’t wait to show our series highlights this year,” said Ackermann. “King of Stonks, Kleo, Barbarians, The Empress and 1899 – the second half of the year will be a real blast.”
Meanwhile, Sasha Bühler, Netflix’s director, film, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), unveiled new movie projects, including Faraway, about a woman looking for happiness from director Vanessa Jopp, and a thriller with the working title Paradise, set in a near future where people can buy eternal youth, if they can afford it, from director Boris Kunz. She also touted Blood and Gold, a new spaghetti western set during the end of WWII, from Peter Thorwarth (Blood Red Sky).
Bühler also showed first footage from various previously announced films that Netflix has in the works. Among them were an adaptation, from director Edward Berger, of Erich Maria Remarque’s famous WWI novel All Quiet on the Western Front, whose cast includes Daniel Brühl; and Buba, a film prequel about How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) character Jakob “Buba” Otto, a small-time drug dealer portrayed by Bjarne Mädel.
And Inga Leschek, Netflix’s director non-fiction for the German-language region, Central and Eastern Europe & Russia, touted the upcoming Queer Eye Germany and highlighted the streamer’s success with true-crime and reality programming. She mentioned that her team would launch one big reality format later this year, but couldn’t unveil details just yet, with another one currently being in development.
“My first three months at Netflix have been exciting and have gone by incredibly fast,” said Katja Hofem, who joined the company’s German-language region team as vp, local-language series in November. “When it comes to story development, our top priorities are strong and local stories with authentic characters, produced to the highest quality.”
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Netflix Unveils New German-Language Series and Films, Will Double Local Content Investments
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