Will we go overboard on the whole movies-turned-into-TV shows thing? Probably sooner than later. But that’s not stopping anyone right now. Much like “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Fargo,” “Wolf Creek,” “The Girlfriend Experience” and HBO’s upcoming “Westworld,” to name merely a few, “Das Boot” will live on through the small screen. But, don’t expect a careless remake of Wolfgang Petersen‘s breakthrough WWII German U-boat drama classic in the golden age of television. The new, eight-hour series will fire on all cylinders, picking up where the story last left off and act as a sequel to the hit 1981 original film. Let’s not fire our toredos just yet, though.
Much like the original film, the newly-announced German television series will be based on Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s best-selling novels, “Das Boot” (of course) and “Die Festung” (a.k.a. “The Fortress”). Telling the author’s story this time, however, are Tony Saint and Johannes W. Betz. The drama will focus mainly from the German perspective, however, it will also spend some time exploring experiences from the French Resistance and Allied forces in the war. The idea of young men driven into senseless war was at the basis of the original text, and the same ideology will be carried over into this new program.
“Today, more than ever before, anti-war stories need to be told,” said Christian Franckenstein, the CEO of Bavaria Films, the company behind the upcoming production. “The notions of war and terror are ubiquitous. The misguided actions of young men driven to commit acts of terror by false ideologies are obvious… The 1981 film ‘Das Boot’ is unique, and we are approaching our work with the greatest of respect for this masterpiece. We want to build on the strong brand of ‘Das Boot’ and continue telling the story in a contemporary manner by making use of every filmmaking and storytelling technique available to us today.”
Bavaria teamed up with Sky Deutschland, Rupert Murdoch’s German pay-TV platform, to release this upcoming mini-series, and it’s not the first time Buchheim’s writing has been brought to the medium. The original novel was also produced as a six-episode mini-series between 1985-1987, capitalizing on the success of the film (“Das Boot” was also expanded to a massive 293-minute director’s cut version). The new series is expected to air in 2018 across all Sky territories, which includes Germany, Austria, UK, Ireland and Italy. There’s no word yet on if it’ll receive a U.S. release, but we’ll let you know once more information arrives. [Variety]