×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Beta Closes Major Sales, Drops Trailer on Berlinale Series Title ‘M’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Beta Film has rolled out its first major territory sales on drama series “M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder” (“M – A City Hunts a Murderer”), which has just been confirmed by the Berlin festival as one of seven shows selected for its TV strand, Berlinale Series.

Viasat has licensed pay-TV rights for Russia and CIS countries. TV giant Globo has also closed pay-TV rights for Brazil. Canal Plus has licensed Polish rights, in a further pay-TV deal. Scandinavia is in final negotiations.

Beta handles world sales outside Austria and Germany. The drama series is a Superfilm production by John Lueftner and David Schalko for Austrian public network ORF and Germany’s TV Now, the new streaming service of the RTL Mediagroup. “M” marks their first original fiction production. Home video in Germany is handled by Universum Film.

A potential Berlinale Series talking point, “M – A City Hunts a Murderer” is inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1931 movie “M,” his first film with sound, starring Peter Lorre as a child serial killer memorably whistling “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg as he approached his young murder targets. The eerie whistle and images, such as the ball of one victim rolling across some grass as the murderer leads her away, helped build Lang’s international status. He always considered “M” his favorite film.

Variety has exclusive access to the international trailer of the new TV adaptation of “M – A City Hunts a Murderer.” The six-hour limited series is directed by Austrian helmer David Schalko (“Braunschlag,” “Altes Geld”) and stars well-known German actors Udo Kier (“Downsizing”), Moritz Bleibtreu (“Atomised”), and Lars Eidinger (“Personal Shopper”).

The storyline is broadly the same – a child’s murder plunges a city into panic – but the setting has been moved to a snowy Vienna. A mysterious clown whistles a haunting melody. As far-right politicians seize the moment to step up security, in another parallel from the original, the criminal underworld’s business is disrupted so badly by police raids that it hunts the assassin down, subjecting him to kangaroo court trial.

CREDIT: © Pertramer/Pichler/Superfilm

The trailer features macabre vignettes such as a child’s red jacket left on a bench in the snow, a young child’s uncertainty as she’s approached by the murderer, bodies frozen in icy snow, and children left alone in their rooms. The trailer also captures the desperation of parents who have lost their children in a society caught between sinister forces of order and criminality.

Among a number of series excerpts screened by The Wit at Mipcom, “M” was the darkest series on show.

“M” will screen at the Zoo Palast, the Berlinale Series venue, and also be shown at the Blauer Stern cinema in Pankow as part of the Berlinale Goes Kiez program as the Berlinale continues to screen TV series at venues in local Berlin neighborhoods.

More TV

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • Desus Nice The Kid Mero

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of Feb. 18, 2019: Academy Awards, 'Desus & Mero'

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, the Academy Awards air and Desus & Mero make their debut on Showtime. [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BBC Takes Stake in New Company Set Up by ‘Luther,’ ‘Bodyguard’ Exec

    BBC Studios has taken a minority stake in Firebird Pictures, the new drama indie being set up by BBC execs Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Craig Holleworth. Kilgarriff’s credits include “Luther,” “Poldark,” “McMafia” and upcoming Richard Gere-starrer “MotherFatherSon.” She commissioned breakout drama hit “Bodyguard.” Holleworth will be the new company’s COO, having run business and operations for [...]

  • Punisher Jessica Jones

    Marvel's 'The Punisher,' 'Jessica Jones' Canceled at Netflix

    The last of Netflix’s Marvel shows are officially ending. “The Punisher” has been canceled after its second season, and the upcoming third season of “Jessica Jones” will be its last, Netflix confirmed on Monday. The announcement comes after Netflix gave the ax to its other Marvel series: “Daredevil,” “Iron First,” and “Luke Cage.” “Marvel’s ‘The Punisher’ will [...]

  • SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake'

    SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake' With 'Desperate Parents' Producer

    SND, the commercial arm of the French TV network M6, has acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Family Shake,” a comedy series written by Baya Kasmi and Michel Leclerc. SND is the latest vertically integrated French film group to start handling live-action series, following TF1 Studio, Studiocanal and Gaumont, among others. Produced by Gaëlle Cholet at [...]

  • 'Super Shiro' Anime Series Inspired by

    'Super Shiro' Anime Series Inspired by 'Crayon Shin-chan'

    The enduringly popular Japanese cartoon franchise “Crayon Shin-chan” has inspired a new animated TV series, “Super Shiro.” “Crayon Shin-chan” has been on air since 1992 and inspired 26 feature films. “Super Shiro” is a fast-paced chase series, for kids, based on original IP by Yoshito Usui and scripted by on Kimiko Ueno.  The series is [...]

  • Us Television Writers and Producers Maria

    ‘Mad Men’s’ Andre, Maria Jacquemetton Set for Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus

    MADRID — André and Maria Jacquemetton, the Emmy and WGA Award-winning writer-producers of AMC’s “Mad Men” and consulting producers on Amazon Studios’ “The Romanoffs,” will serve as Guests of Honor at Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus, a workshop whose participants include Denmark’s Christina Miller-Harris and Israel’s Noy Carmel. The Jacquemettons will deliver a masterclass and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content