Clas­sic anti-war film Das Boot resur­faces as TV se­ries

The Daily News Egypt - - Art & Culture -

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


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.

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