According to Variety, Wolfgang Petersen’s classic German U-boat drama Das Boot is getting a sequel in the form of an eight-hour television miniseries. Produced by Bavaria Films—which teamed up with Rupert Murdoch’s German pay-TV platform Sky Deutschland to release the miniseries—the story will continue where Das Boot left off, maybe even on that same downbeat Christmas Eve when everyone is either dead or very, very sad. The series was written by Tony Saint and Johannes W. Betz, who worked from Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s best-selling novels Das Boot and Die Festung (The Fortress).
Once again, the drama will take place primarily from the perspective of German forces in World War II, though it will occasionally show the experiences of the French Resistance and the Allied forces. According to the producers, Buchheim’s original work was about young men being driven into a senseless war, and this new miniseries will carry on that theme. Christian Franckenstein, CEO of Bavaria Films, explained:
Today, more than ever before, anti-war stories need to be told. The notions of war and terror are ubiquitous. The misguided actions of young men driven to commit acts of terror by false ideologies are obvious … The 1981 film Das Boot is unique, and we are approaching our work with the greatest of respect for this masterpiece. We want to build on the strong brand of Das Boot and continue telling the story in a contemporary manner by making use of every filmmaking and storytelling technique available to us today.
Plus, most submarine stories are usually pretty awesome: the claustrophobic setting, the cat-and-mouse battle scenes, the dynamic dolly shots, the sweaty close-ups, the climax awash in red lighting, passive-aggressive conning, that ping sound, etc. Come to think of it, we wouldn’t mind a TV reboot of U-571, or even Down Periscope.
The new Das Boot miniseries is expected to air sometime in 2018 in all Sky territories, including Germany, Austria, the U.K., Ireland, and Italy. No word yet on when it will surreptitiously surface in American waters.