Netflix Acquires Adolf Hitler Satire ‘Look Who’s Back’

By Nancy Tartaglione, Ali Jaafar

Look Who’s Back found box office success in Germany when it released last October, ultimately grossing about $22M. Netflix has now taken world rights outside Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Japan and Taiwan, for a rollout on April 9.

The adaptation of Timur Vermes’ bestselling novel is directed by David Wnendt. The story imagines Hitler suddenly waking up on the site of his former bunker, now a residential area of Berlin, 70 years after his presumed demise. The war is over, his party is no more, Eva Braun is long dead and German society is now so multicultural he does not recognize it. But, against all the odds, he begins a new career on television after he is mistaken for a brilliant comedian — even though he is indeed the genuine article and his intentions have not changed.

Producer Constantin Film replicated the Borat model, by thrusting its notorious central character, played by unknown German actor Oliver Masucci, into unsuspecting real-life situations in Germany.

The book hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and spent 20 weeks at No. 1 on Der Spiegel‘s list. It sold 2M copies in Germany and became a hot-potato subject across Europe. It’s now been published in more than 40 countries.

Look Who’s Back is produced by Mythos Film and Constantin Film. Producers are Christoph Müller and Lars Dittrich, executive producers are Oliver Berben and Martin Moszkowicz. Beta Cinema has world sales.

The move reps the latest foreign language acquisition by Netflix, following on from their Sundance buys of Babak Anvari’s Farsi language chiller Under the Shadow and Indian director Q’s Brahman Naman, about an Indian champion college team as interested in picking up girls as they are knowledge. Netflix founder Reed Hastings announced on January 6 that Netflix had expanded into 130 new countries including Russia, India and in the Middle East.

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