Beta Film has closed a raft of major deals for the period drama “Sisi” ahead of its world premiere in Cannes on Monday. In addition, RTL Deutschland has given the green light for the second season of the series.
“Sisi” will bow in Germany later this year on the streaming platform RTL Plus and then on linear channel RTL.
The six-hour period drama, produced by Story House Pictures, will be broadcast by Mediaset in Italy, Globoplay in Brasil, NPO in the Netherlands, RTL in Hungary, RTVS in Slovak Republic and Viasat World on its Epic Drama channel throughout Eastern Europe, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
Most recently, Beta Film signed a contract with VTM Belgium. Previously, TF1 for France and Austrian pubcaster ORF joined as broadcasting partners. Numerous negotiations are ongoing.
The coming-of-age story of the Austrian Empress will celebrate its world premiere at the TV festival Canneseries on Monday, playing out of competition.
Hauke Bartel, RTL’s head of fiction, said: “Our goal was to revive the story of Sisi, but tell it differently – from a modern perspective. The colleagues from Story House did an excellent job. That’s why I’m delighted to not only celebrate the world premiere of ‘Sisi’ here in Cannes, but to already announce that the exciting story about the Austrian Empress will go into a second season on RTL+ and RTL.”
The role of the Empress Elisabeth, whose fictional character was immortalized by Austrian actress Romy Schneider in a 1950s film trilogy, is newly interpreted by up-and-coming Swiss-American actress Dominique Devenport (“Night Train to Lisbon”), while Emperor Franz is portrayed by Germany’s Jannik Schümann (“Center of My World,” “Charité”).
The series centers on the relationship between the royal couple: Sisi, known as the most beautiful woman in Europe, who fights against the strict, even cruel regime at court and for her ideals; and Franz, a man for whom Sisi is tghe love of his life but whose emotions and feelings are suppressed by the façade of a strict and brutal ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Beta handles world sales for “Sisi,” which is produced by Story House’s Andreas Gutzeit and Jens Freels. Gutzeit (“Dignity”) also functions as lead author accompanied by Robert Krause (“Bloodtrails”) and supported by Elena Hell. Sven Bohse (“Dark Woods”) directs the series; Hauke Bartel serves as RTL’s executive producer, alongside Markus Böhlke and Sylke Poensgen.