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Bavaria Fiction Revives ‘Das Boot’ for a New Voyage

The “Das Boot” sequel is set in the fall of 1942, months after Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 movie ended. The tide is turning against the German war effort after the Allies solve the Enigma code and opposition to the Nazis intensifies.

A key departure from the earlier film is that this project tells dual stories. There is the journey of the U-boat, which leaves in the first episode and returns to port in the eighth and final installment of the first season. A second strand looks at the Resistance movement in La Rochelle. As “Narcos” and “The Last Panthers” have done, “Das Boot” is a multilingual series, filmed in German, French and English.

A 104-day shoot started in Prague at the end of August and will continue in France and Germany. Having refurbished the boat used in 2000’s “U-571,” the vehicle will travel from Malta to La Rochelle, where it will dock in the same U-boat pens used in the movie, before returning to Malta for the ocean-going scenes, which will be shot in February. The cast includes Rick Okon (“Tatort”) and Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”).

“Since I became a producer it has been a dream to do this as a [modern] TV series.”
Oliver Vogel

For Bavaria Fiction’s Oliver Vogel, the realization of the series fulfills a long-held ambition, pairing one of Germany’s best-known TV producers with the country’s best-known film and TV series.

“Two years ago our CEO Christian Franckenstein was talking about our brands, including ‘Das Boot,’ and I told him that since I became a producer it has been a dream to do this as a [modern] TV series,” Vogel says. “He said ‘go for it.’”

Sky has the series across its European footprint, covering Germany, Austria, the U.K. and Italy. Sonar Entertainment a co-production partner and the international distributor. The producers promise season one will have a satisfying resolution, but also want the journey to continue.

“We’re building so much in terms of the characters, it would be a shame not to follow them through more seasons and there are certainly talks about a second,” Bavaria Fiction’s Moritz Polter says. “But it is important the first season is satisfying as standalone. There won’t be a cliffhanger; we won’t leave people disappointed.”

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