Sky are known for a lot of things here in the UK, their world-class satellite TV service, market leading broadband offering and wonderful customer service for those who choose to contact Sky. However, historically they haven’t had much of a reputation for original programming.
That’s all changed in recent years, as Sky have adopted the HBO model (and partnered with HBO, significantly) to become a leading UK content provider. That strategy has yielded hits like Fortitude and The Young Pope, along with lauded comedies like Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle and Hunderby.
Now, in an effort to gain serious kudos from cinephiles and, potentially, land them in the awards categories, Sky have announced a sequel to the German WWII classic U-boat movie Das Boot, a remarkable tale of a crews’ high-pressure and claustrophobic life about the boat.
The new series will take the form of an eight-part series, and will be based on the bestselling novel by Lothar-Günther Buchheim, and will Sky Original Production, co-produced by Bavaria Fernsehproduktion, Sky Deutschland and Sonar Entertainment. It’ll air across all of Sky’s territories, including here in the UK.
Joining the spectacular international cast will be Lizzy Caplan August Wittgenstein, Vicky Krieps, Jonathan Zaccai, Leonard Scheicher, Robert Stadlober, Franz Dinda and Stefan Konarske. Seperately, they’ve starred in such productions as The Crown, Finsterworld, The Young Karl Marx, Robin Hood, Masters of Sex and more.
But who’s lined up to direct the eight-part series? None other than Andreas Prochaska, whose credits include Das finstere Tal (The Dark Valley) and Das Wunder von Kärnten (A Day for a Miracle), for which he was awarded the International Emmy. On the writing team, we have Tony Saint (Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley, The Interceptor) and Johannes W. Betz (Der Tunnel, Die Spiegel-Affäre).
That writing team, along with the international cast, implies that the sequel to the 1981 classic will have a broader scope than the original, which ratcheted tension by sheer claustrophobia. Another major indication of a wider scope is the production locations, which feature France, Prague, Maltra and Munich.
Filming begins in August 2017, and is expected to finish production in time for a late 2018 release date.
Moritz Polter and Oliver Vogel, Executive Producers for Bavaria Fernsehproduktion, said: “Few TV projects are as hotly anticipated as the sequel to Das Boot. We’re excited to open the next chapter on board U-612 , with a cast of internationally renowned actors, a high calibre junior cast and acclaimed director Andreas Prochaska.“
Jenna Santoianni, EVP, Television Series, Sonar Entertainment, added: “In a time when the word ‘classic’ has become over-used and trivialized, Das Boot is one of those rare, true originals that without question fits the description. The film – and the book it is based on – have both earned enormous acclaim. This new production – supported by tremendous writing, an acclaimed international cast and crew, and stunning locations – will be a fitting sequel to the iconic work that it follows.”
Carsten Schmidt, CEO of Sky Deutschland, commented: “The story of Das Boot is a unique and epic tale that sits perfectly with our range of top class Sky Original Productions. It joins an exciting slate of pan-European productions coming out of Sky that includes Babylon Berlin, The New Pope and Riviera”.