Netflix Set to Produce Its First Original German Films
Netflix is producing original films in German for the first time with the help of German television and film companies UFA, ZDF, and X Filme.
Netflix has begun its foray into German films by greenlighting three initial projects. These are Freaks, a supernatural social drama, Betongled, a satire with its story linked to the rise in prices and demand of Berlin housing, and Isi & Ossi, a young adult romantic comedy. Production on the films will begin this spring and they will premiere globally in 2020. Each of the three production companies is working on a film, with ZDF and Lüthje Schneider Hörl Film producing Freaks, UFA Fiction creating Betongled, and X Filme Creative Pool working on Isi & Ossi.
Isi & Ossi will be written and directed by Oliver Kienle (Bad Banks), and stars Lisa Vicari (Luna) and Dennis Mojen. Freaks reunites director Felix Binder with his team from Red Bracelets: actors Tim Oliver Schultz and Marc O. Seng. Betongled is written and directed by Cüneyt Kaya, and will star David Kross (The Keeper), Frederick Lau (The Captain), and Janina Uhse (Good Times, Bad Times).
It was “especially thrilling for us to work with an exceptional group of artists, unconventional filmmakers and great producers on this slate of movies,” said Kai Finke, Netflix’s director of co-productions and acquisitions for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The streaming service has already delved into the world of German television, producing shows such as Dark, a thriller, and Dogs of Berlin, a crime drama.
Earlier this month, Netflix also revealed that it is producing five new television shows in Spain, which are also set to premiere in 2020. These shows include a miniseries, a school-set drama, an anime series, a superhero comedy, and a female-centered dramedy.
Netflix’s first original program, House of Cards, premiered on Feb. 1, 2013. Its first original program in a language other than English was Club of Crows, a Mexican show which premiered on Aug. 7, 2015.
Last month, Netflix said it gained 9 million subscribers in the last three months of 2018, bringing its total to 139 million subscribers worldwide. The company expects to secure another 8.9 million subscribers by the end of March 2019 and anticipates that most of these new subscribers will be from international markets.