In 2017, a German production took audiences by surprise Netflix by showing a story that although it was sought to compare with stranger things (both stories begin with two missing children), the truth is that they were very different plots. It was about Dark, a supernatural mystery show with few familiar faces in the cast and also behind the camera. However, the surprising popularity of the television show caused it to be tested for two more seasons, which were the ones its creators had contemplated from the beginning.
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After completing this project, Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, now widely known as “the creators of Dark”, they formed their own company in Germany, with which they would begin to produce their content. Both signed an agreement with the streaming platform to generate more products. So they started working on 1899their new fiction, which, just like they did with Darkhas been shrouded in a halo of mystery, since very little of the plot has been revealed, even though there are a few days left before it reaches the catalog of the great N.
What is it about 1899?
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The new German horror series comes with a mysterious premise. While consistent with its goal of delivering fear and excitement in equal measure, this project takes a slightly different trajectory, leaning more toward mystery with less time travel incorporated into the plot. It follows the journey of various immigrants traveling to New York from Europe. The passengers are of different European nationalities, united by the hope of a better life in a new continent.
The passengers are optimistic about the dawn of a new century and hope for a smooth voyage until they come across another migrant ship drifting in the open sea that had been missing for months. This encounter uncovers an intriguing web of secrets. In fact, it seems like everyone is running from something. At the center is the mysterious passenger Maura Franklin (Emily Beecham). The chaos is complicated by the fact that these passengers come from all over Europe, Poland, France, Germany, Spain and England. It’s a culture clash and some people have a hard time communicating effectively.
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1899 perhaps one of the television productions with the greatest cultural diversity within its cast. History has allowed characters from many parts of the world to coexist in this story and for this the creators decided to call on actors from different latitudes. As it has been seen in the advances previously shown, in the series the characters do not speak a single language, it is not only English or German. In the show you will hear Spanish, Polish, French, Chinese, among others.
According to its producers, they did this in order to show the linguistic diversity of Europe, which has existed for several centuries. For this reason, the team thought it convenient for each of the actors to come from where his characters are from. That is to say, who speaks Spanish is the Valencian actor Miguel Bernardeau (Elite), who will give life to Ángel and will always speak in his native language.
The project has an international cast. Emily Beecham will play the role of Maura Franklin. The fans of Dark they would remember Andreas Pietschmann, who played the adult Jonas and who this time will play Eyk Larsen in 1899. Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard, known for playing Gibson in Dunkirk will also be in the series, as well as Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen from the rain. Other performers from Europe include Mathilde Ollivier from France, Rosalie Craig from England, Maciej Musial from Poland and Jonas Bloquet from Belgium. Other cast members include Gabby Wong, Fflyn Edwards, Yann Gael, José Pimentão, Martin Greis-Rosentha.
Fully digital stages
Writer-producer-showrunner Jantje Friese said: “1899 is a truly European series, with characters from different countries speaking their native languages. We feel very lucky to have found such a wonderful cast, who come from all over the world to embark on this exciting journey with us.” Such an ambitious project 1899 It was produced using the latest cutting edge technology to render its visual effects. A game engine is used to create virtual sets, and motion graphics allow for high-level in-camera editing.
Filming for this historical drama will take place on a completely new virtual set that has been custom built. This is the largest LED technology studio of its kind in Europe, a studio that allows capturing a significant number of shots with complex visual effects from sets and virtual locations created with common technology in video games. Owned by DARK BAY, a company created by DARK WAYS and Studio Babelsberg with the backing of Netflix, this state-of-the-art virtual production will remain at Babelsberg Studios outside Berlin and provides creators with innovative new ways for their storytelling.
For her part, Rachel Eggebeen, Director of Original Content for Netflix added: “We are very happy to have been able to help Jantje and Bo find the perfect solution for their creative vision of 1899. The infrastructure of the virtual shooting set will create new opportunities, and we are fully committed to bringing these technological advances to the entire German entertainment industry.”
The mystery in this story
The trailers shown thus far give fans a little idea of what to expect. The fans of Dark they will be familiar with the heavy use of cryptic symbols and strange-looking artifacts. The first clip shows a group of puzzled passengers and a voice asking why they think they are on this ship. You play a lot with numbers, with the figure of the triangle and with infinity.
The answer is that everyone is running from something. The following scenes reveal the passenger’s encounter with another ship. This ship seems to bring great amounts of horror. There are scenes of stunning costume design and special effects that speak to the sophistication of the project. As with most teasers, it leaves you with more questions than answers, and for an eerie horror, the paucity of answers is much more conspicuous.
who is behind 1899?
In 2018, Netflix signed a contract with the German directing team Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar to create films for an initial period of five years. The first product of that alliance was the science fiction thriller television series Dark which ran for three seasons from 2017 to 2020. 1899 is a branch of that previous fix. The series is produced by Dark Ways, a Berlin-based production company owned by Friese and Odar.
In the virtual production stage, film technology companies Arri, Faber and Framestore were brought on board. A production process that relied heavily on technology, 1899 was filmed in a state-of-the-art virtual production facility called Volume which is the largest virtual production site in Europe owned by Dark Bay, a company controlled by filmmakers Friese and Odar. The project is the first to be fully financed by the German Motion Picture Fund through the Investment Bank of Brandenburg to the tune of 10 million euros.
Before you can enjoy 1899you can rewatch all three seasons of Darkwhich are available through Netflix.