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Migration Drama ‘1899’ Is New Netflix Project From Creators of ‘Dark’

The creators of supernatural series “Dark,” which helped put German drama on the international TV map, have set their next Netflix project, “1899,” a drama that follows European migrants on a fright-filled journey to the U.S.

Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar inked an overall deal with Netflix in June – the first of its kind for the streamer in Europe – following the success of “Dark.” “1899” is the first fruit of that agreement. The show revolves around a migrant steamship heading from London to New York. When the passengers discover another migrant boat adrift, their journey takes an unexpected twist.

“What they find on board will turn their passage to the promised land into a horrifying nightmare,” Netflix said in a statement.

The expectation is that the series will be multi-language, with an international cast. “Dark” was U.S. Netflix’s first German-language original and has run to two seasons. Inasmuch as anyone can tell, given Netflix’s refusal to disclose numbers, it was a hit.

Friese and Odar are charting a new course with “1899.” “The fact that this concept is so radically different from ‘Dark’ is a true testament to their creativity and versatility as creators, and we are excited to continue this journey with them,” said Kelly Luegenbiehl, Netflix’s VP of originals for Europe and Africa.

In a joint statement, Friese and Odar said that what “really made us connect to this idea was the concept of having a truly European show with a mixed cast from different countries.” Immigration is currently a live issue in both the U.S. and Europe, and at the show’s heart “is the question of what unites us and what divides us,” the producer pair said. “And how fear can be a trigger for the latter.”

The two have been working together since Odar’s directing debut “The Silence,” and their credits span film and TV. Odar is a former name on Variety’s “Ten Directors to Watch” list.

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