Babylon Berlin brings back the vivid metropolis of the 1920s
by Birgit Heidsiek
- X Filme Creative Pool is producing a unique TV series by Tom Tykwer, Hendrik Handloegten and Achim von Borries
Principal photography has begun in Berlin for the TV series Babylon Berlin by German writer-directors Tom Tykwer (A Hologram for the King [+see also:
film profile], 3 [+see also:
film profile], The International [+see also:
film profile], Run Lola Run), Hendrik Handloegten (Summer Window [+see also:
film profile], Learning to Lie) and Achim von Borries (4 Days in May [+see also:
film profile], Love in Thoughts). Based on the series of international bestsellers by Volker Kutscher, the story centres on an inspector in Berlin in the 1920s. In the world’s most exciting metropolis, he has to deal with a host of issues ranging from drugs to politics, murder to the arts, and emancipation to extremism.
Before the end of the year, two TV series each with eight episodes of 45 minutes will be produced over more than 180 shooting days in Berlin, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia. For this unique project, Berlin-based production company X Filme Creative Pool has got ARD, Sky and Beta Film on board as partners.
German actors Volker Bruch and Liv Lisa Fries play the leading roles. With more than 250 parts, the ensemble cast includes well-known German actors such as Matthias Brandt, Peter Kurth, Mišel Matičević, Hannah Herzsprung, Benno Fürmann, Lars Eidinger, Udo Samel, Fritzi Haberlandt, Christian Friedel and Karl Markovics. Furthermore, about 5,000 extras will join the production in the coming months.
The historical Berlin, which will reflect the various influences from that era, is being rebuilt at Studio Babelsberg. In collaboration with X Filme, production designer Uli Hanisch (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer [+see also:
film profile], A Hologram for the King) has built a complete street for Babylon Berlin.
X Filme producers Stefan Arndt, Uwe Schott and Michael Polle, and co-producers Jan Mojto and Dirk Schürhoff from Beta Film, received production support from the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Creative Europe Media, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and the new German Motion Picture Fund. Babylon Berlin will premiere on German pay-TV channel Sky in 2017 and will be released by ARD in 2018. Beta Film is handling the series’ world sales.