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Babylon Berlin – Tom Tykwer’s major new TV project

Director Tom Tykwer has achieved a first in German television with Babylon Berlin: a public-service broadcaster and commercial television company are collaborating on a major project for the first time.


Emancipation, excess – and burgeoning extremism: 1920s Berlin, the setting in which Inspector Gereon Rath sets out to solve a case, is a society caught up in a maelstrom of political change. In Babylon Berlin, German film director Tom Tykwer presents the troubled period of the Weimar Republic as a 720-minute television series. It took two years of talks, but agreement has now been reached: the two broadcasters ARD and Sky and the film companies X Filme Creative Pool and Beta Film will jointly make this huge production and provide its budget of 40  million euros. Two seasons of eight episodes are planned.

This kind of collaboration between a public-service and a commercial broadcaster is a first for German television. The makers of Babylon Berlin hope to create a world-class production of the highest standard that can compare with American television series like Breaking Bad or Homeland. Tom Tykwer, who is also writing the screenplay, is considered a guarantee of internationality and creativity. His films, which include Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas and The International, have made him one of the best known German filmmakers.