German Director Fatih Akin Looks to Hometown Serial Killer for Next Film

Director Fatih Akin, whose terrorist-attack film “In the Fade,” starring Diane Kruger, was selected as Germany’s Oscar submission, will turn next to a drama inspired by a serial killer from his hometown.

Akin is adapting Heinz Strunk’s bestselling 2016 novel “Der goldene Handschuh” (“The Golden Glove”), which chronicles the true story of Fritz Honka, a physically and psychologically scarred serial killer who murdered four women in Hamburg’s red light district between 1970 and 1975. Honka picked up his victims at the notorious bar Zum Goldenen Handschuh, where he was a regular.

The project holds particular interest for Akin, who was born in Hamburg in 1973. “The film is based on a novel from my hometown,” he said. “It takes place in my neighborhood in the ’70s. The serial killer just lived, like, two streets away from me.

“It’s a slasher film,” Fatih said, but also “a portrayal of the generation that witnessed the Second World War, that witnessed the Third Reich.”

The book offers a study of Hamburg society at the time, juxtaposing the world of the city’s wealthy and powerful shipping families with the murky dive bar that attracted both rich and poor with the promise of alcohol, sex, drugs and crime.

Akin has just finished the first draft and may have a screenplay at next year’s Cannes Film Festival. “The plan would be to shoot it in late summer,” he said, adding that the casting process was currently underway.

Strunk, a writer, musician and actor, has already adapted the book for the stage. “Der goldene Handschuh” is currently playing to sold-out crowds at Hamburg’s Deutsches Schauspielhaus.

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