Sky Deutschland and Bavaria Film are teaming on a $28.5 million TV adaptation of the books Das Boot and Die Festung from Lothar-Günther Buchheim, which also provided the basis for Wolfgang Petersen’s classic 1980s U-boat drama. The eight-part TV series will serve as a sequel of sorts to the film, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Director. The film also launched the international career of actor Jurgen Prochnow.
The TV series will follow on from the events of the film, with the crew of the U 96 returning to La Rochelle in 1942 and exposed to an air raid on the harbor, killing a number of the crew. The series will focus predominantly on the German crew as they engage in the ensuing submarine warfare. Members of the French Resistance and Allied Forces will also feature.
The series is expected to air in 2018 across all five of pan-Euro pay TV Sky’s territories, namely the UK, Germany, Austria, Ireland and Italy.
Tony Saint (Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley) and Johannes W. Betz (The Tunnel) are the head writers. Oliver Vogel and Moritz Polter exec produce for Bavaria Film. Marcus Ammon and Frank Jastfelder will oversee for Sky.
“Today, more than ever before, anti-war stories need to be told,” said Bavaria film chief exec Christian Franckenstein. “The notions of war and terror are ubiquitous. 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.”
Sky is embarking on increasingly ambitious original dramas to service its multi-territory operations, such Rowan Joffe’s Tin Star, Fortitude and The Last Panthers.