The project, Das Boot – the Series, is being billed as a sequel to the 1981 movie, picking up on events that occur in the film, and has German producer Bavaria Film attached to produce. Tony Saint (The Interceptor) and Johannes W. Betz (The Tunnel) are leading the writing team.
Sky Deutschland is leading the 21st Century Fox-owned pay TV provider’s participation in the series, which will air on its platforms in Germany, Austria, the UK, Ireland and Italy in 2018.
Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s books Das Boot and Die Festung focus on the day-to-day life on a German World War II submarine through the eyes of a war correspondent.
The series will focus on the crew of the U96 returning to La Rochelle, France, where a portion of the crew is immediately killed by a major air raid in 1942. Buchheim’s central theme on the blind fanaticism that drive young men to war will be crucial to the show.
Bavaria is putting together an international cast, with Oliver Vogel (Dengler) and Moritz Polter (Spotless, Crossing Lines) executive producing, with Sky Deutschland’s Marcus Ammon and Frank Jastfelder overseeing production for Sky.
“With Das Boot – the Series, we have once again found a subject matter that fits Sky perfectly and will excite our customers,” said Sky Deutschland CEO Carsten Schmidt. “We are looking forward to the creative development process. Das Boot – the Series is the next step into the field of original fictional productions at Sky, and others will follow.”
“Today, more than ever before, anti-war stories need to be told. The notions of war and terror are ubiquitous,” said Bavaria chief executive Christian Franckenstein. “The misguided actions of young men driven to commit acts of terror by false ideologies are obvious.
“The 1981 film Das Boot is unique, and we are approaching our work with the greatest of respect for this masterpiece. We want to build on the strong brand of Das Boot and continue telling the story in a contemporary manner by making use of every filmmaking and storytelling technique available to us today.”
Das Boot – the Series will sit alongside Sky Deutschland’s other big-budget drama, the ARD coproduction Babylon Berlin. The operator’s content chief, Ammon, earlier this year said he was looking for drama projects that would make “noise” internationally.