Counterpart, photo: STARZ
Berlin has not only become a popular and affordable production location for many of your favorite movies and TV-shows in the last years. But our beloved city at the Spree and its uniquely edgy and rough aesthetic has become the backdrop for many national and international productions. And I think we will all agree, if one a city deserves this visual attention, then it’s Berlin. How many times have we found ourselves thinking the Berlin scenery around us is right out of a movie scene? We selected a few of our favorite shows and movies that will or have already found their way to the big and small screen this year and last year. Take a look.
The German answer to every American gangster series. 4 Blocks is a drama series broadcasted by TNT Series in Summer 2017 that catapulted us into the dark world of organized crime and family feuds in Berlin’s multicultural neighborhood Neukölln and we could not stop watching. A second season is currently in production and is expected to air in the fall of 2018 on TNT Series.
Babylon Berlin is the most expensive German TV production in history, with a budget of almost 40 million euros, directed by renowned director Tom Tykwer, Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegten. The scripts of the first two seasons are based on the crime novel The Wet Fish by Volker Kutscher and follows actors Volker Bruch and Liv Lisa Fries through Berlin in the late 1920’s, a city dancing on a volcano. In early November 2017 Tykwer confirmed that two more seasons are planned. The first two season are available on SKY and will air on German free TV in fall 2018.
The American sci-fi series aired from December 2017 to April 2018 on the American premium cable network Starz. The story spins around Howard Silk, played by Academy-Award-winner J.K. Simmons, who has been working for a UN agency in Berlin for thirty years. Howard finds out that his agency is actually overlooking a portal to a divergent parallel universe that was accidentally created by the East Germans during the Cold War but of course, it does not end with his discovery. He meets his “other” self, his counterpart from the other world and an unusual thrilling story set in Berlin begins. In February 2018, Starz announced that production had begun in Berlin on the second season of Counterpart.
Netflix’s first German science fiction thriller did not only make waves nationally but internationally as the cool, mysterious, dark German answer to American success formats such as Stranger Things or The OA. Never has Germany looked so depressingly cool and although most of the series takes place in a middle-of-nowhere town somewhere in a never-ending forest, but actually many scenes of Dark were filmed in an around Berlin. A second season has been green-lit by Netflix, its production will begin in 2018 and we just can’t wait for this dark, German fantasy to continue. Let the binging begin once more.
Deutschland 86, the second season of Deutschland 83, is an unusual German TV success story. The eight-episode first season starring Jonay Nay as an East German undercover spy in West Germany did not achieve great viewing figures in Germany but its popularity abroad secured the production of a second and third season, both set three years apart. The second season (Deutschland 86) will air in fall 2018 on Amazon Prime. There is no official trailer yet, so if you haven’t seen the last season, here’s the trailer of the first season for you.
Dogs of Berlin
The second Netflix production entirely from Germany could also be seen as Netflix’ answer to 4 Blocks. Starring German actors Fahri Yardım and Felix Kramer as a police officer from the east of Berlin and his German-Turkish colleague, Dogs of Berlin will take us into the worlds of drugs clans, glossy football, neo-Nazi terrorists and the Berlin mafia. Production began in November 2017 and the first season will probably air in late 2018. There is no official trailer yet. We just have to sit and wait.
Ku’damm 59 is a three-part German television mini-series centering the youth movement at the end of the 1950s in Berlin. The three-part series is the sequel to Ku’damm 56 and was first broadcasted in March 2018 on the ZDF. The story is a continuation of the first season that followed Caterina Schöllack, a conservative mother and her three daughters Monika, Helga and Eva who are revolting against prudish morality and outdated values.
Berlin never looked so sexy… or well, everything looks sexy with Charlize Theron in it. The 2017 action-packed blockbuster is based on a graphic novel called The Coldest City is a thrilling spy story set on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin wall in 1989, a soundtrack featuring Nena’s 99 Luftballons included. Atomic Blonde is already out on DVD.
Ever wondered what a futuristic Berlin in 2052 looks like? Well, Duncan Jones is providing the answer: The 2018 neo-noir science fiction Mute was released on Netflix in February and is taking us into a dark, gloomy and dangerous city where no one can be trusted. The story follows barman Leo Beiler (Alexander Skarsgard) through the dystopian urban jungle of Berlin searching for his great love Naadirah who disappeared under tragic circumstances.
Berlin Falling is the directorial debut of actor Ken Duken. The script was written by Christoph Mille and follows former elite soldier Frank Balzer who finds himself in a dangerous car ride with hitchhiker Andreas who wants to force Frank to help him execute a bomb attack on the Berlin central station. Duken stars in the film as Frank Balzer, alongside Tom Wlaschiha and Tim Wilde. Filming began in December 2015 in and around Berlin. Berlin Falling celebrated its world premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June 2017. Since October 2017 you can watch the movie on Sky Germany.