An apocalyptic drama from the makes of Deutschland 83a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and an emotionally-driven series set in Alabama are European giant Sky Deutschland’s latest trio of original dramas.
Ahead of the satellite broadcaster’s launch of original drama Munich Games tonight at the Munich Film Festival, three Sky Studios shows have been unveiled: Helgoland 513, Frankenstein Untold and Huntsville AL. The latter two are in development, while the former has been greenlit.
Heligoland is set in 2034 after a global apocalypse, where the North Sea island of Helgoland has become humanity’s last safe haven. A totalitarian society has been established that only allows 513 people on the island and as resources are scarce, an inhumane ‘social ranking’ system evaluates the lives of the inhabitants according to their ‘usefulness.’ At the same time, a dangerous force from the mainland prepares to invade.
Written and directed by Robert Schwentke (The Captain, Red), the seven-part series will begin filming later this year and comes from Deutschland 83 producer UFA Fiction in association with Sky Studios.
Frankenstein Untold is billed as “a radical reimagining of Mary Shelley’s fantasy classic.” The synopsis reveals “intense and emotionally complex drama” is “told through the eyes of eight powerful characters” and explores the philosophical and political depths of the novel, centering around themes, such as the search for love and belonging, as well as revenge. ” Set in 1816, locations include dirty streets of Ingolstadt, Germany, Switzerland’s Lake Geneva, and the vast ice desert of the North Pole.
Philipp Stölzl (The Royal Game, The Physician, North Face) is creator and director, with the series currently in development with Neue Schönhauser Film (Back-on-Track).
Huntsville AL takes inspiration by “never-before-told, true stories,” and will be an “emotionally intense drama set in the 1950s in the southern town of Huntsville, Alabama.”
It will explore how hundreds of former German Nazi engineers and their families radically transformed the segregated, sleepy little town as the American space industry neared its launch after they were recruited by the US Army for a secret missile project. They dream of reaching the Moon, but the late arrival of one family could endanger the whole endeavor.
Principal Achim v. Borries (Babylon Berlin), Nadav Schirman (The Green Prince), Ron Leshem and Amit Cohen (Euphoria, Valley of Tears) created the series, which is currently in development with Zeitsprung, Fremantle’s Italian producer Wildside and Beta Film.
Next Up Event Sets Agenda
Sky Studios CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz and EVP for Deutschland and Italia Nils Hartmann unveiled the series at Sky’s Up Next event in Munich, which came during the same period at the Munich Film Festival. Sky Deutschland is giving Munich Gamesits six-part political thriller from creator and writer Michal Aviram (Fauda), director Philipp Kadelbach and writer Martin Behnke. Co-produced by Amusement Park Film, CBS Studios and Sky Studios, it is set 50 years after the Munich Massacre, when Israel’s Olympic team were attacked and taken hostage by terrorists.
At the Next Up event Elke Walthelm, EVP of Content for Sky Deutschland revealed the broadcaster will offer over 60 local and international Sky Original series to customers across the Germany, Austria and Switzerland this year, such as souls from Geißendörfer Pictures.
Hartmann added: “The new Sky Originals revealed today showcase the breadth of storytelling and creative ambition we are targeting on our original drama slate for Sky Studios Deutschland. We want the creative community in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to bring us their best, boldest and buzziest ideas as we invest further in premium original content for our customers.”