Netflix has previewed 19 German-language productions that will be headed to the streamer in 2022 and beyond.
During Netflix’s Content Remote Show 2022, the company’s German-language team presented a selection of 19 productions, including series, films, and nonfiction titles in diverse genres, from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. These projects are part of Netflix’s push into local content, which sees the international streamer doubling its investments to 500 million euros between 2021 and 2023.
Below are overviews of the nine series, five films, and five nonfiction titles.
Previously announced is this eight-episode period mystery series from creators and showrunners Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, the creative duo behind the award-winning supernatural mystery series Dark. It follows the Europe-to-New York voyage of a ship filled with passengers from diverse backgrounds, who look forward to the dawn of the new century with hope and dream of a better future abroad. But when they discover a second ship on the open sea, one that has been missing for months, their journey takes an unexpected turn. What they find on board turns their crossing to the promised land into a nightmarish mystery, with a web of secrets that seems to tie the past of each passenger together.
The international cast includes Emily Beecham (Into the Badlands), Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), Alexandre Willaume (Equinox), Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones), Andreas Pietschmann (Dark), Miguel Bernardeau (Elite), Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen (The Rain), and Maciej Musial (1983), amongst others. (You can set a reminder for it now.)
Achtsam Morden (Mindful Killing) (working title/WT)
Based on Karsten Dusse‘s best-selling novel of the same name (Book 1 in his “Achtsam Morden” series), this eight-part humorous crime drama tells the story of Björn Diemel, a successful lawyer who, to save his marriage, attends a mindfulness seminar. From it he finds a new work-life balance — and becomes a murderer in the process. A production of Constantin Film, Jan Ehlert, and Nina Viktoria Philipp, Achtsam Morden is written by Miriam Rechel (Biohackers) and Chris Geletneky (Pastewka).
Barbarians: Season 2 (Barbaren)
Set a year after the Varus Battle (in the awesome first season), Season 2 of this historical action drama finds the Roman troops have returned to Germania, stronger than ever, and Ari (Laurence Rupp, Vienna Blood) is once again confronted with his Roman past. While Thusnelda (Jeanne Goursaud, Einstein) and Ari try to unite the tribes against Rome, Folkwin (David Schütter, 4 Blocks) makes a sinister challenge to the gods, and Ari’s brother joins the Roman side to punish Ari for his betrayal of Rome.
The Season 2 cast includes Daniel Donskoy (St. Maik), Murathan Muslu (Skylines), Cynthia Micas (Professor T), Katharina Heyer (Charité), Gabriele Rizzoli (Suburra: Blood on Rome), Alessandro Fella (Paradise), and Giovanni Carta (Mafia Only Kills in Summer).
Oscar® winner Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) directs and serves as showrunner for Barbarians: Season 2, with Lennart Ruff (The Titan) co-directing. The producers are Sabine de Mardt, Andreas Bareiss, and Rainer Marquass.
The Empress (WT)
Also previously announced is this six-part historical drama about the life of the iconic Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Devrim Lingnau, Allmen), which costars Philip Froissant (Black Island) as Emperor Franz Joseph. The series focuses on the love story between Elisabeth and Franz — she a young woman ahead of her time, rebelling against the rigid rules of the 19th century and of the court, and he a multi-layered ruler with fractures, who played a major role in shaping modern European history.
Also featuring in the series are Melika Foroutan (Tribes of Europa), Johannes Nussbaum (Shades of Guilt), Elisa Schlott (Marie’s Mind for Murder), and Jördis Triebel (Babylon Berlin). Shooting has just completed on the drama directed by Katrin Gebbe (Tatort) and Florian Cossen (Deutschland 86) and produced by Jochen Laube and Fabian Maubach of Sommerhaus Filmproduktion.
King of Stonks (original WT Cable Cash)
From Cologne-based studio btf (bildundtonfabrik) and executive producers Philipp Käßbohrer and Matthias Murmann, who brought us the global hit series How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast), comes this series starring Matthias Brandt (Dark Woods) and Thomas Schubert (Murder by the Lake). Inspired by real events, the six-part drama follows Felix Armand, an ambitious programmer who is the mastermind behind the most successful FinTech company of all time and in all of Germany — and the biggest fraudster in post-war German history.
Created by showrunners Käßbohrer and Murmann, King of Stonks is directed by lead director Jan Bonny (Tatort: Borowski), who also executive produces, as well as Facundo Scalerandi (How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)), and Isabell Šuba (Barcelona Crime).
Opening in 1987, this action-thriller series tells the story Kleo (Jella Haase, The Team), a GDR spy who, after killing a businessman in West Berlin on behalf of a secret Stasi commando, finds herself arrested by the Stasi on flimsy charges and imprisoned. Two years later, the wall falls and Kleo is released. Soon thereafter she sets off on a revenge campaign that takes her from Berlin to Mallorca to the Chilean Atacama Desert — always followed by West German policeman Sven (Dimitrij Schaad, Das Boot)…
Costars include Vladimir Burlakov (Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood), Julius Feldmeier (Babylon Berlin), Vincent Redetzki (Tatort), and Alessija Lause (The Team). The series is created by the team who gave us 4 Blocks — HaRiBos, Hanno Hackfort, Richard Kropf and Bob Konrad — who wrote it along with Elena Senft (Der Lehrer). A production of Zeitsprung Pictures, Michael Souvignier, and Till Derenbach, Kleo is directed by Viviane Andereggen (Tatort) and Jano Ben Chaabane (Druck).
Liebes Kind (Dear Child) (WT)
This miniseries is based on the novel Dear Child by Romy Hausmann. The six-part thriller centers on Lena, a young woman who manages to escape from an isolated, highly-secured house, and is hospitalized after a car accident. But the true extent of the horror is made known that same night with the arrival of her parents, who have been searching for their missing daughter for almost 13 years — because Lena’s regained freedom offers no salvation…
A production of Constantin Television, Liebes Kind is written and directed by Isabel Kleefeld (The Informer) and Julian Pörksen (Whatever Happens Next), and produced by Tom Spieß and Friederich Oetker.
Netflix has licensed this award-winning Swiss drama, which centers on a family after the death of the patriarch. Caught between city and countryside, they struggle to survive on their farm while facing the complex challenges of modern agriculture and their tragic family history.
The cast includes Julian Koechlin (Wilder), Rachel Braunschweig (Tatort), Sophie Hutter (Mapa), and Jérôme Humm (Monogamish). A production of Zodiac Pictures Ltd and SRF, Neumatt is produced by Lukas Hobi and Reto Schaerli, and directed by Sabine Boss (Open Season) and Pierre Monnard (Anomalia). Marianne Wendt (Flemming) serves as showrunner and head writer.
Another previously announced title is this six-part thriller based on Austrian author Bernhard Aichner‘s international best-selling “Totenfrau” trilogy. Set in the Tyrol region of Austria, it follows Blum (Anna Maria Mühe, Dogs of Berlin), the owner of a funeral home in a renowned ski resort and a loving mother of two young children, who is shaken to her core by the death of her husband. She soon realizes, though, that his death was not an accident but murder — because he was about to uncover terrible secrets. So Blum sets out for revenge, but in the process becomes the hunted instead of hunter…
The cast includes Felix Klare (Tatort), Yousef Sweid (Unorthodox), Shenja Lacher (Detective Ellen Lucas), Robert Palfrader (Hotel Sacher), Simon Schwarz (Altes Geld), Gregor Bloéb (Murder by the Lake), Michou Friesz (Inspector Rex), Gerhard Liebmann (Anatomy of Evil), Hans Uwe Bauer (Blochin), Sebastian Hülk (Das Boot), Andrea Wenzl (Tatort), Wolfram Koch (Dark), Britta Hammelstein (Crime Stories), and Peter Kurth (The Typist).
A co-production of Barry Films and Mona Film Produktion, Totenfrau is directed by Nicolai Rohde (Tatort). (You can set a reminder for it now.)
Blood and Gold (WT)
Set shortly before the end of World War II, this film follows a German soldier who, having deserted, is on his way home to his only surviving daughter. But he is targeted by a marauding SS troop and unintentionally becomes part of their search for a Jewish gold treasure hidden in a remote village. Written by Stefan Barth (Motown), Blood and Gold is directed by Peter Thorwarth (Blood Red Sky) and produced by Christian Becker. The film is currently in pre-production and will be shot in the first half of 2022.
For this film Bjarne Mädel reprises his role as Buba, the quirky petty criminal in the first season of How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast). Here Buba, whose real name is Jakob Otto, balances out all the good feelings in his life by making his everyday life as unpleasant as possible, which has worked well for decades — until he falls in love and his problems grow.
A production of btf, Buba is directed by Arne Feldhusen (Crime Scene Cleaner), and costars Georg Friedrich (Freud), Anita Vulesica (Money Murder Zurich), Michael Schertenleib (How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)), Michael Ostrowski (How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)), Maren Kroymann (Flemming), Soma Pysall (Para – We Are King), and Jasmin Shakeri (You Are Wanted).
This film centers on Zeynap Altin, an overworked and undervalued wife, mother, and daughter who flees from Munich to her late mother’s secret holiday home on a Croatian island, in the hope that she’ll find peace and quiet — and herself — here. If only the previous owner Josip, a rough islander, didn’t still live on the same property… Written by Jane Ainscough (The Space Between the Lines) and directed by Vanessa Jopp (The Almost Perfect Man), Faraway stars Naomi Krauss (Tatort) and Goran Bogdan (Black Sun).
All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen Nichts Neues)
Previously announced is this wartime drama based on Erich Maria Remarque’s world-famous anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front. The film tells the poignant story of Paul, a young German soldier on the Western Front during World War I, who, along with his comrades, experiences first-hand how the initial war euphoria turns into horror, suffering, and fear while they desperately fight for their lives in the trenches.
Directed by Primetime Emmy® nominee Edward Berger (Patrick Melrose, Deutschland 83), the film’s cast includes Felix Kammerer (David im Wunderland), Albrecht Schuch (Bad Banks), Daniel Brühl (The Alienist), Aaron Hilmer (The Last Word), Adrian Grünewald (Sløborn), Anton von Lucke (The Mopes), Moritz Klaus (Phoenixsee), Edin Hasanovic (Skylines), Devid Striesow (8 Days), and Andreas Döhler (The Heavy Water War). A production of Amusement Park Film, All Quiet on the Western Front is produced by Malte Grunert and Daniel Dreifuß. (You can set a reminder for it now.)
Set in a not-too-distant future in Germany, this sci-fi action thriller features a new, radical form of financing — the transferring of lifetime from one person to another — which has transformed biotech startup AEON into a multi-billion dollar big pharma conglomerate, and changed the world forever. After Elena is forced to sell 40 years of her life to AEON for an insurance debt that she and her husband Max couldn’t pay, Max, an AEON employee, tries everything to get her lost years back. But when he learns AEON’s CEO is after Elena’s lifetime, Max kidnaps her, setting off a manhunt for the couple that not only forces them to leave their homeland, but also pushes them to the limits of their moral concepts.
Produced by NEUESUPER, Simon Amberger, Korbinian Dufter, and Rafael Parente, the film is written by Peter Kocyla (8 Days), Simon Amberger (Hindafing), and Boris Kunz (Hindafing), who also directs. The cast includes Corinna Kirchhoff (Bauhaus – A New Era) and Kostja Ullmann (Beat).
The documentary looks behind the scenes of the gripping competition between Swiss extreme alpinists Ueli Steck and Dani Arnold, who climbed the most dangerous north faces of the Alps at record speed, usually completely without safety equipment. Produced by Pitch International, Facing North is directed by Goetz Werner (Freeride World Tour) and Nicholas de Taranto (Narco Wars).
Featuring raw archival material, this true-crime documentary revisits the Gladbeck hostage crisis (fictionalized in the miniseries 54 Hours) — one of the most dramatic crimes in post-war German history. In August 1988, Hans-Jürgen Rösner and Dieter Degowski robbed a Deutsche Bank branch in Gladbeck. The subsequent hostage-taking resulted in a gigantic media spectacle that sparked a debate about the limits and responsibility of journalism. A production of Film Five, Gladbeck is produced by Yan Schoenefeld and directed by Volker Heise (24h Berlin – Ein Tag im Leben).
Queer Eye Germany
This new show is the first international spinoff of the successful US reality format. As with the original (and reboot), the German version features five experts — Leni Bolt, David Jakobs, Jan-Henrik Scheper-Stuke, Aljosha Muttardi, and Ayan Yuruk — who use their knowledge, empathy, and combined queer energy to steer the lives of their protégés in a positive direction and, together, open the door to a new, better chapter in their lives.
Produced by ITV Studios Germany, Queer Eye Germany, a Netflix Original, premieres globally on Wednesday, March 9. (You can set a reminder for it now.)
This five-part true-crime docuseries follows the story of Jens Soering, the son of a German diplomat who was charged with the 1985 double murder of the parents of his lover, Elizabeth Haysom, after he confessed to the crimes. She was charged with instigating him. But then Soering changed his story in court, claiming that Elizabeth herself had murdered her parents, and that he had confessed to save her from the death penalty. To this day, many questions remain unanswered and new insights keep coming to light. While relatives and supporters of the Haysoms remain adamant that he is the killer, Soering continues to protest his innocence while trying to build a new life for himself in Germany.
The series is produced by multi-award-winning documentarian Arne Birkenstock (Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery), who gained exclusive access to Jens Söring for the production. Together with directors Lena Leonhardt (Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier) and Andre Hörmann (Ringside), Birkenstock provides new perspectives on the spectacular criminal case that continues to captivate people around the world today.
This documentary feature is about one of the greatest financial crimes of all time in Germany: a gigantic financial scandal and one of the biggest bankruptcies in the country, in which the Mafia, porn barons, and the Russian secret service play a role. In the film, Financial Times journalist Dan McCrum provides comprehensive and exclusive insights into his six-year investigation into the German fintech company Wirecard, and recounts the dirty tricks used against him while fighting to uncover a multi-billion dollar scam.
Wirecard is currently being produced under the direction of Primetime Emmy® nominee James Erskine (The Human Face) and will be available on Netflix in the summer.
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