Classic anti-war film Das Boot resurfaces as TV series
DW- Das Boot was an international success when it appeared nearly 30 years ago. Now the film is being relaunched as an eight-part series on pay TV network Sky, this time with strong roles for women.
The U-96 crew emerged from their crippled U-boat in the harbour of La Rochelle, after surviving a sea battle, only to come under an immediate attack from the Allies’ aircrafts. Most of the crew members who survived to make it back to the land then met their deaths under the sky.The U-96,the submarine that had brought them this far, was then sent to the bottom of the sea by an allied bomb.
That’s how the 1981 classic anti-war film Das Boot ended.
Under the same name,paycaster Sky and production company, Bavaria Fiction remake the story and push it out to the sea once more.
Nine months have passed since U-96 disappeared beneath the waves for the last time. In the U-boat harbour at La Rochelle, the crew of U-612 is preparing for its maiden voyage.
The war is no longer going so well for Germany, and the Allies have recently cracked the Enigma code —making life even more dangerous for Germany’s Uboat crews. Sky’s blurb tells us that during the mission, the crew’s skill, loyalty, and comradeship will all be put to the test. Meanwhile, another story unfolds on land as we follow a young woman playing a dangerous game between the Gestapo and the Resistance.
Strong female characters and international cast for milestone relaunch
“Das Boot is a milestone among anti-war films: It stands for authenticity, suspense, drama, emotion and action,” says director Andreas Prochaska. “But the series goes a step further than the film did, by combining the claustrophobic atmosphere on board the submarine with a second storyline in the orbit of the Resistance, which gives a chance
PAYCASTER SKY, PRODUCTION COMPANY, AND BAVARIA FICTION HAVE REMADE THE STORY, TO PUSH IT OUT TO THE SEA ONCE MORE
to bring in strong female characters.”
The story is told in eight parts, with Rick Okon playing the role of Klaus Hoffmann, August Wittgenstein as First Officer Karl Tennstedt, and Vicky Krieps as Simone Strasser, a translator who works for the Gestapo. In addition, big names like Robert Stadlober, who recently starred as Kurt Weill in Brecht’s Threepenny Film, Belgian actor Jonathan Zaccai (Robin Hood), and American Lizzy Caplan (The Interview, Freaks and Geeks) complement the cast.
For Sky Deutschland, Das Boot is already a money-spinner: Rupert Murdoch’s Sky network has already sold the series in over 100 countries, and has been the subject of much hype, thanks to an extravagant marketing campaign.
The series cost €26.5m ($30m) to make. In 1981, the original film, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, had a budget of DM 25m— huge at the time.Taking inflation into account, it equates to about the same figure in euros.
The original film was nominated for six Oscars and a Golden Globe.It will be interesting to see whether this reboot pays justice to the original film.