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Netflix and Dark Ways GmbH announced today that production has started on 1899, a new German-produced mystery series featuring an international ensemble cast.

1899: (L-R) Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese, José Pimentão, Mathilde Ollivier, Miguel Bernardeau, Jonas Bloquet, Yann Gael, Andreas Pietschmann, Emily Beecham, Isabella Wei, Maciej Musial, Gabby Wong, Rosalie Craig, Aneurin Barnard, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen, Clara Rosager, Maria Erwolter, Alexandre Willaume — Photo Copyright Rasmus Voss

Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, the creators of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning, fan-favorite series Dark, have started production on 1899, the first project from their production company Dark Ways GmbH.

The eight-episode drama follows the mysterious circumstances around the voyage of an immigrant ship from Europe to New York. The passengers, all of different backgrounds and nationalities, are united by their hopes and dreams for a new century and their future abroad. When they discover a second ship adrift on the open sea that had gone missing for months, their journey takes an unexpected turn. What they find on board will turn their passage to the promised land into a nightmare-like riddle, connecting each of the passenger’s pasts through a web of secrets.

The international ensemble cast includes Emily Beecham (Daphne), Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), Andreas Pietschmann (Dark), Miguel Bernardeau (Elite), Maciej Musial (1983), Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen (The Rain), Rosalie Craig (McDonald & Dodds), Clara Rosager (The Rain), Maria Erwolter (The Sommerdahl Murders), Yann Gael (Sakho & Mangane), Mathilde Ollivier (Boss Level), José Pimentão (Valor da Vida), Isabella Wei, Gabby Wong, Jonas Bloquet (Magellan), Fflyn Edwards (The Snow Spider), Alexandre Willaume (Equinox), and Anton Lasser (Game of Thrones), amongst others. As the series is intended to be truly multilingual, the characters will speak in their native languages.

Said writer, producer, and showrunner Jantje Friese about 1899:

1899 is a truly European series with characters from various countries speaking in the language of their origin. We feel very fortunate to have found amazing talent from all over the world to venture into this exciting journey with us.”

Filming will take place in a newly custom-built virtual production stage. The largest LED “Volume” of its kind in Europe, it unlocks the ability to capture a significant amount of complex visual effects shots in-camera through virtual sets and locations created with game engine technology. Owned by Dark Bay, a dedicated company set up by Dark Ways and Studio Babelsberg with Netflix backing, the cutting-edge virtual production stage will be permanently situated at the long-standing Babelsberg Studios outside Berlin, and provide content creators with new and innovative ways of creative storytelling.

Commented director, producer, and showrunner Baran bo Odar about the Dark Bay virtual production stage:

“Partnering with Netflix enabled us to bring our vision behind 1899 to life. Thanks to their upfront support and commitment we were able to build the Volume, making 1899 a pioneer title for Germany and the region. The infrastructure is a cutting-edge innovation for the German production landscape and could also bring enormous creative benefits for filmmakers and creatives worldwide.”

Joining Odar and Friese on the new series are behind-the-camera talent who worked with them on Dark, including director of photography Nikolaus Summerer, set designer Udo Kramer, hair & make up designer Christina Wagner, and composer Ben Frost. Joining them on the production team are casting director Lucy Bevan (The Dig), Oscar®-nominated costume designer Bina Daigeler (Mulan), and Framestore’s integrated visualisation, virtual production and VFX teams supervised by Christian Kaestner.

1899 is expected to launch globally in 2022. (You can set a reminder for it now.)

Stay tuned for updates.


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1899: Production Begins on New Netflix Mystery Series from ‘Dark’ Creators
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