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Netflix announced today The Empress, the working title of its new German Original series about the iconic Empress of Austria-Hungary.

The Empress
The Empress (wt): Philip Froissant and Devrim Lingnau — Photo by Mathias Bothor, courtesy of Netflix

Historical drama The Empress (wt) goes into production in spring 2021, with an expected global launch date in spring 2022.

The life story of Empress Elisabeth, better known as Sisi, has been thrilling people in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland for generations. Now Netflix is bringing the story to the screen.

On a day in August 1853, two young people meet. It is a fateful encounter, the proverbial love at first sight. He is Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, she is Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, Princess of Bavaria and the sister of the woman Franz is to marry.

Their intoxicating love completely upsets the power structure at the Viennese court. After their wedding, the young empress must assert herself — not only against her mother-in-law, the sovereign, power-hungry Sophie, but also against Franz’s brother Maxi, who himself longs for the throne (and for Sisi).

As enemy troops form up on the borders of the Habsburg Empire, people in Vienna rise up in protest against the emperor. Elisabeth must find out who she can trust and how high the price is to be a true empress and a figure of hope for the people.

The six-part drama will focus on the first months after Sisi’s arrival at the Viennese court, with the focus being the love story between Elisabeth and Franz. As told in the series, Elisabeth is a young woman ahead of her time, rebelling against the rigid rules of the 19th century and of the court, and Franz is a multi-layered ruler with fractures, who played a major role in shaping modern European history. Against the backdrop of the jealousy, intrigue, and power struggles behind the scenes of the Habsburg court, as well as the emerging question of freedom of the people, the audience is taken into a glittering illusory world in which young Sisi must fight for her place at court and for the right to be the figurehead of an ailing empire.

The lead roles of Elisabeth and Franz Joseph will be played by Devrim Lingnau (Auerhaus) and Philip Froissant (Black Island).

Katharina Eyssen (Holiday Secrets) is the series’ showrunner and writer, and the directors are Katrin Gebbe (Pelican Blood) and Florian Cossen (NSU German History X). Jochen Laube and Fabian Maubach from Sommerhaus Filmproduktion (When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit) are responsible for the production on behalf of Netflix.

Stay tuned for updates.


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The Empress (wt): New Netflix German Original Series About Empress of Austria-Hungary
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