Berlin: Tom Tykwer, Beta’s Jan Mojto Unveil ‘Babylon Berlin,’ Germany’s Biggest-Ever TV Series

U.S. deal ‘imminent,’ says Beta’s Jan Mojto


BERLIN  The makers of Germany’s biggest-budgeted TV series ever unveiled on Wednesday the first trailer for “Babylon Berlin,” an adaptation of the first book in German author Volker Kutscher’s bestselling series about a police inspector in 1920s Berlin.

The press conference at Berlin’s legendary but slightly dilapidated Clärchens Ballhaus (which first opened its doors in 1913) drew a packed crowd as writer-directors Tom Tykwer, Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegten discussed their work on the €40 million ($42.7 million), 16-episode series and offered a first glimpse of the highly-anticipated show.

Produced by Sky Deutschland, ARD Degeto, X Filme and Beta Film and overseen by Tykwer, the lavish historical drama explores not only the glorious roaring 20s heyday of the German capital, but also the dark underbelly of the original sin city in all its brutal debauchery.

Volker Bruch (“Generation War”) and Liv Lisa Fries (“Zurich”) lead the cast.

The series, which is currently in post, has already sold to SVT in Sweden, NRK in Norway, Denmark’s DR and Finland’s YLE as well as Telefonica’s Movistar Plus in Spain and Belgian pay platform Telenet, according to Jan Mojto, co-producer and CEO of Beta Film, which is handling worldwide rights. Sky will also carry the series in the U.K. and Italy. Mojto added that deals “are imminent” in the U.S., France and other European and Latin American territories.

“Babylon Berlin” will premiere on Sky in October and on pubcaster ARD in 2018.

Describing the project, Tykwer drew parallels with Berlin of the late 1920s and the present. “It was also a time of political change. It was just a few years before the rise of the Nazis and while no one had a clue of what was to come, around the city things were simmering and seething.”