Daniel Brühl (“All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Captain America: Civil War”) is set to star as late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld in “Kaiser Karl,” the anticipated Disney+ original series which Gaumont (“Lupin”) is currently producing. The show is currently shooting in France, Monaco and Italy.
The six-part series will chronicle the rise of Karl Lagerfeld through the world of 1970s Parisian high fashion. In 1972, a 38-year-old Karl Lagerfeld aspired to become the most famous French fashion designer, at a time when Yves Saint Laurent reigned supreme. Lagerfeld went on to become the head designer and creative director of Chanel, Fendi and his own label.
The series will also explore the rivalry between Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent’s partner Pierre Berge, as well as his love story with Jacques de Bascher.
Along with depicting the clan rivalries and ego battles of the high fashion world, the series will also portray the epic partying and decadence, tragic love affairs and friendships which marked Lagerfeld’s life. Jérôme Salle, the well-known French director whose credits include “Kompromat,” “Totems,” “The Odyssey,” and “Zulu,” will be the “artistic mastermind” behind the series and is set to direct Episodes 1, 2 and 6, while up-and-coming director Audrey Estrougo (“Authentik,”“Héroïnes”) will helm the other three.
Brühl, one of Germany’s biggest and most internationally driven stars, will headline the show alongside Théodore Pellerin (“It’s Only the End of the World”) as Jacques de Bascher; Arnaud Valois (“BPM (Beats per Minute)”) as Yves Saint Laurent; Alex Lutz (“Guy”) as Pierre Bergé; and Agnès Jaoui (“The Taste of Others”) as Gaby Aghion, the founder of the Chloé brand who helped elevate Lagerfeld.
A showcase of queer subculture and the glamorous Parisian world of fashion, the upcoming premium series will mark the first dramatic series on the famed designer, who has previously been the subject of documentaries.
Pauline Dauvin, VP of programming and production at Disney+ France, said the show will “bring together outstanding talents and will result in a unique viewing experience for the platform’s subscribers.”
Isabelle Degeorges, whose credits include “Lupin,” will executive produce for Gaumont, and Arnaud de Crémiers is executive producing for Jour Premier.
As previously announced, “Kaiser Karl” was created and adapted for television by Isaure Pisani-Ferry (“Ganglands,” “Vampires,” “Kaboul Kitchen”), Jennifer Have (“Unfaithful,” “The Red Band Society”) and Raphaëlle Bacqué, author of the bestselling biography of the same name.
Pisani-Ferry serves as head writer for the series, for which she co-wrote all the scripts with Dominique Baumard (“Ganglands,” “The Bureau”), Jennifer Have, and Nathalie Hertzberg (“Malaterra,” “Farewell, De Gaulle, Farewell”).
“Kaiser Karl” will highlight some of the biggest stars of the era, including Marlene Dietrich, who will be played by Sunnyi Melles (“Triangle of Sadness”); Paloma Picasso (Jeanne Damas, “Sincerity”); Loulou de la Falaise (Claire Laffut, a high-profile Belgian singer and artist); and Andy Warhol (Paul Spera, “Something in the Air”).
“Kaiser Karl” will feature more than 2,200 extras, over 40 different sets and some 3,000 costumes, 160 of which will be created from scratch, according to Disney+
Driven by the ambition to re-create the Parisian atmosphere of the flamboyant 1970s, the artistic team brings together a topnotch key crew including cinematographers Mélodie Preel (“In Treatment”) and Mahdi Lepart (“Grown Ups”), costume designer Pascaline Chavanne (“An Officer and a Spy”), and production designer Jean Rabasse (“The City of Lost Children,” “Vatel”), who will be in charge of set design, including the recreation of apartments, fashion shows, iconic party venues and couture houses. Evgueni and Sacha Galperine (“Oussekine”) will create the original soundtrack.
A movie biopic is also being made on Lagerfeld with Jared Leto attached to play the designer.