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.”

More TV

  • Anjelah Johnson'The Curse of La Llorona'

    HA Comedy Festival Sets Lineup, HBO Max Comedy Special

    The newly launched HA comedy festival backed by WarnerMedia and New Cadence Productions has set its dates, talent lineup and plans for a special to air on HBO Max. The festival, to be held Feb. 21-23 in San Antonio, Texas, is designed as a showcase for Latinx comedians. It’s part of a first-look development pact [...]

  • Alex Cross

    Alex Cross TV Series in the Works at Amazon (EXCLUSIVE)

    James Patterson’s Alex Cross could soon be coming to the small screen. Variety has learned exclusively that Amazon is currently developing an Alex Cross TV series, based on the novels starring the character written by Patterson. Throughout the book series, Cross works as a detective, FBI agent, and psychologist in Washington D.C. There is no [...]

  • Scott Z. Burns

    Apple TV Plus Nears Series Order for Scott Z. Burns Climate Change Anthology (EXCLUSIVE)

    Apple TV Plus is nearing a series order for “Extrapolations,” a new climate change anthology from Scott Z. Burns, the writer, director and producer known for “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Report,” Variety has learned exclusively. The streaming platform is developing the anthology with an eye toward a series order, amid a competitive bidding situation. [...]

  • 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Station 19' Boss

    How 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Station 19' Will Sync Up for Its 2020 Crossover

    Nearly a year after “Grey’s Anatomy” made television history by becoming the longest-running primetime medical drama, the ABC series is taking on a new challenge on Thursday, Jan. 23: becoming more immersed with its spinoff, “Station 19,” for a more unified two-hour weekly block. But while there are natural ties between the two dramas, trying [...]

  • Guinan Picard Whoopi Goldberg Patrick Stewart

    Patrick Stewart Invites Whoopi Goldberg to Join 'Star Trek: Picard' Season 2

    In an emotional moment on Wednesday’s episode of “The View,” Patrick Stewart invited Whoopi Goldberg to appear on the second season of CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Picard,” reprising her character of Guinan from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Goldberg — who quickly and gladly accepted — appeared to be totally surprised by Stewart’s offer, [...]

  • Allison Brightman CBS

    Allison Brightman Named CBS TV Studios' Head of Business Affairs and Operations

    Veteran CBS Television Studios business affairs executive Allison Brightman has been elevated to executive vice president of business affairs and operations at the studio. She succeeds Dan Kupetz, who is joining 20th Century Fox Television to lead its business affairs unit following the retirement of Fox’s Howard Kurtzman. “Allison’s skill sets are extraordinary,” said Deborah [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content