Based on the biography “My Mother Marlene,” by Dietrich’s daughter, Maria Riva, the five-part series, tentatively titled “Marlene,” is produced by UFA Fiction and Akin’s Bombero International in Hamburg.
The miniseries chronicles Dietrich’s life as an artist, lover, German emigrant and mother as well as a woman who created her own rules and lived by them, whatever the cost.
“‘Marlene’ will be not only the first series I have written and directed but also the greatest challenge in my film career,” said Akin, the series’ creator.
“It is the continuation of my successful collaboration with Diane Kruger. Nobody is better cast than her. Marlene was not only a cinematic icon, but a woman in exile, German immigrant in America, resistance fighter and so much more. She was also an UFA artiste, which is why I am even happier that the series has found a home there.”
Kruger, who is executive producing, added: “With Fatih’s talent and ability to see into the soul of a person, I am certain that he will not only film a series about the icon and world star Marlene Dietrich, but above all will draw a portrait of a unique woman in an unusual epoch. I cannot wait to appear in front of Fatih’s camera again and together let Marlene Dietrich stand in the spotlight once again.”
Kruger starred in Akin’s 2017 thriller “In the Fade,” which won her best actress at Cannes and went on to win best foreign film at the Golden Globes. Kruger currently appears in Neil Jordan’s “Marlowe” alongside Liam Neeson. The film recently world premiered at San Sebastian Film Festival, and had a Gala Premiere at Zurich Film Festival.
“Marlene Dietrich is an icon of her time: in her open approach to sexuality, her clear stance towards the war with National Socialist Germany, her international outlook and clear recognition of diversity: it is the modern image of womankind far ahead of that of her generation and which impresses even to this day,” said producers Nico Hofmann, UFA CEO, Sebastian Werninger, managing director of UFA Fiction in a statement. “Marlene Dietrich is myth and legacy, one of the great German biographies which has still not yet been told in its complexity. We celebrate Fatih Akin’s passion in portraying this great artistic biography.”
Dietrich, who died in Paris in 1992 at the age of 90, appeared in countless films throughout a career that spanned nearly seven decades. She starred in such classic films as Josef von Sternberg’s 1930 musical “The Blue Angel,” one of a number of collaborations with the director; Alfred Hitchcock’s “Stage Fright” (1950), Billy Wilder’s “Witness for the Prosecution” (1957), Orson Welles’s “Touch of Evil” (1958) and Stanley Kramer’s “Judgment at Nuremberg” in 1961.
Producing “Marlene” are Akin and Nurhan Sekerci-Porst for Bombero International; Werninger and Hofmann for UFA Fiction and UFA, respectively; and Herman Weigel. Peter Riva co-producing, with Maria Riva and Scott Levenson serving as executive producers.