Katrin Gebbe and Florian Cossen preparing The Empress for Netflix
- The mini-series will focus on the time right after royals Elisabeth “Sisi” von Wittelsbach and Franz Joseph meet
Katrin Gebbe (Nothing Bad Can Happen [+see also:
film profile], Pelican Blood [+see also:
interview: Katrin Gebbe
film profile]) and Florian Cossen (The Day I Was Not Born [+see also:
film profile], Coconut Hero [+see also:
film profile]) are readying The Empress for Netflix. The six-part German-language mini-series will focus on the months that follow the arrival of Elisabeth “Sisi” von Wittelsbach, Princess of Bavaria, at the Viennese Imperial Court and the beginning of her marriage to Franz Joseph, the Emperor of Austria-Hungary. The series will depict how, after the wedding, the young empress has to adapt to a world that is still foreign to her, and deal with her demanding mother-in-law Sophie and with Franz’s difficult brother Maxi. While enemy troops are gathering on the borders of the Habsburg Empire, Elisabeth discovers that she must carefully ponder whom she can trust, and that turning into a figure of hope for an entire people comes at a price.
Eva van Leeuwen, manager of Local Originals at Netflix, stated: “We are delighted to be telling the story of this dazzling and fascinating figure anew – with all the complexity that defined the empress – and to pique the excitement not only of an audience who will rediscover Sisi, but also of fans of the cult films of the 1950s.”
Devrim Lingnau and Philip Froissant have been cast to star as the royal couple. “The Empress offers us the chance to tell the moving story of Empress Elisabeth for a contemporary audience, from the perspective of the modern image of women. Devrim is not only a highly talented, multi-faceted actress, but for me embodies this very woman: intelligent, passionate and rebellious. Philip Froissant, for his part, will make of the role of Franz Joseph something we have not seen before: an ambivalent and fascinating ruler whose conflicts are more topical than ever,” stated Katharina Eyssen, showrunner and writer of The Empress. The cast of the upcoming mini-series also includes Melika Foroutan, who is to star as Sophie; Johannes Nussbaum, who will play Franz’s brother Maximilian; Elisa Schlott, who will play Elisabesth’s big sister Helene; and Jördis Triebel, who is to step into the shoes of Sisi’s mother, Ludovika.
Gabriela Reumer is designing the costumes for the show, which is being produced by Sommerhaus Serien (Jochen Laube, Fabian Maubach). Shooting started in August 2021, and the series is intended to start streaming on Netflix in spring 2022.
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