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Dark creative duo Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar announce their new Netflix project, 1899


- The mystery-series is being filmed in the new cutting-edge virtual production stage LED-Volume at Babelsberg Studios

Dark creative duo Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar announce their new Netflix project, 1899
(© Rasmus Voss)

On 3 May, Netflix and Dark Ways, the newly set-up outfit helmed by Dark creators Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, announced the start of production for their highly anticipated Netflix original mystery-series 1899 [+see also:
series profile

The eight-episode show will follow the mysterious circumstances around the voyage of an immigrant ship from Europe to New York. The passengers, all of different backgrounds and nationalities, are united by their hopes and dreams for a new century and their future abroad. When they discover a second ship adrift on the open sea that had gone missing for months, their journey takes an unexpected turn. What they find on board will turn their passage to the promised land into a nightmare-like riddle, connecting each of the passenger’s pasts through a web of secrets.

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The confirmed international cast includes Emily Beecham, Aneurin Barnard, Andreas Pietschmann, Miguel Bernardeau, Maciej Musial, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen, Rosalie Craig, Clara Rosager, Maria Erwolter, Yann Gael, Mathilde Ollivier, José Pimentão, Isabella Wei, Gabby Wong, Jonas Bloquet, Fflyn Edwards, Alexandre Willaume and Anton Lesser, among others. 1899 is set out to be a truly multi-language series, as the characters will speak in their native languages.

For this project, filming will take place in a newly custom-built virtual production stage. The largest LED “Volume” of its kind in Europe, it unlocks the ability to capture a significant amount of complex visual effects shots in-camera through virtual sets and locations created with game engine technology. The cutting-edge facility will be permanently situated at the long-standing Babelsberg Studios and will provide content creators with new and innovative ways of creative storytelling.

Speaking about the project, writer, producer and showrunner Jantje Friese said: “1899 is a truly European series with characters from various countries speaking in the language of their origin. We feel very fortunate to have found amazing talent from all over the world to venture into this exciting journey with us.” Director, producer and showrunner Baran bo Odar added: “Partnering with Netflix enabled us to bring our vision behind 1899 to life. Thanks to their upfront support and commitment we were able to build the Volume, making 1899 a pioneer title for Germany and the region. The infrastructure is a cutting-edge innovation for the German production landscape and could also bring enormous creative benefits for filmmakers and creatives worldwide.”

Finally, EMEA Director of Netflix Originals’ Rachel Eggebeen commented: “We are extremely happy that we could support Jantje and Bo in finding a perfect solution for their creative vision for 1899. The virtual production stage infrastructure will create new opportunities, and we’re fully committed to bringing these technological advances to the German entertainment industry.”

Odar and Friese once again will work with the talented Dark crew alongside a new group of established professionals. Dark former collaborators include DoP Nikolaus Summerer, set designer Udo Kramer, hair and make up designer Christina Wagner and composer Ben Frost. Fresh forces are casting director Lucy Bevan, Oscar-nominated costume designer Bina Daigeler as well as Framestore’s integrated visualisation, virtual production and VFX teams supervised by Christian Kaestner.

1899 is being produced by Dark Ways in cooperation with Netflix. Friese and bo Odar's studio also received backing from the German Motion Picture Fund and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. The financing of the Dark Bay virtual production studio was supported by the Investment Bank of Brandenburg (ILB).

Check out the series' teaser trailer below:

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