With immoderate of Germany’s astir successful accumulation companies successful its stable, Leonine Studios is reaping nan rewards pinch specified characteristic movie and tv hits arsenic “School of Magical Animals,” “Nightlife,” “Dark” and “Pagan Peak.”
Leonine’s accumulation section includes specified well-established companies arsenic Wiedemann & Berg Film, which focuses connected theatrical features, W&B Television and Odeon Fiction, which nutrient movies and bid for each broadcasters and streaming platforms successful Germany, documentary outfit Gebrueder Beetz and format shaper I&U TV.
“We are successful for precocious imaginative value and commercialized success,” explains Quirin Berg, who, on pinch Max Wiedemann, serves arsenic Leonine’s main accumulation serviceman and managing head of Wiedemann & Berg Film.
“The parameters successful each conception we are operating successful whitethorn beryllium different, but nan schedule is not. And that was already nan floor plan erstwhile we started retired arsenic producers immoderate 20 years ago.”
Indeed, Wiedemann & Berg’s first characteristic film, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s “The Lives of Others,” won nan champion foreign-language movie Oscar successful 2007.
While “The Lives of Others” marked “a very motivating start” for Wiedemann & Berg Film, nan institution started retired pinch much of a attraction connected comedies, later moving into different genres pinch films for illustration nan 2014 techno-thriller “Who Am I” from Baran bo Odar and penning partner Jantje Friese – nan imaginative minds down “Dark.” It was that movie “that opened nan doors astatine Netflix for our bid ‘Dark’ later,” Berg notes.
Wiedemann & Berg re-teamed pinch Henckel von Donnersmarck connected nan Oscar-nominated 2018 play “Never Look Away” and it has besides continued to activity pinch adjacent collaborators.
“We started pinch galore young filmmakers – increasing up together complete nan years. So, for illustration we had a first box-office deed pinch a drama from Simon Verhoeven immoderate 15 years agone and kept connected moving together since. He brought ‘Welcome to Germany’ to us.”
That film, astir a German family that takes successful a Nigerian refugee, is truthful acold Wiedemann & Berg’s highest grossing movie successful Germany pinch immoderate 4 cardinal admissions.
Verhoeven, who besides directed nan 2020 deed drama “Nightlife,” astir precocious wrote and directed Leonine’s forthcoming English-language “Girl You Know It’s True,” nan highly anticipated movie astir nan 1980s popular set Milli Vanilli and frontmen Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus.
The movie is simply a cleanable Leonine Studios project, Berg adds.
“If we would not nutrient it, we would surely bargain it. The communicative astir 2 talented dancers that go world stars arsenic popular duo Milli Vanilli successful nan precocious 1980s happens to commencement successful Germany but quickly moves to London, New York and L.A., wherever they delivered 3 No. 1 hits successful nan U.S. and won a Grammy Award — earlier it was revealed they ne'er sang, conscionable lip-synced to nan voices of 2 different artists. It was nan biggest ungraded successful nan euphony business ever.”
“Most of nan movie takes spot successful nan U.S., but it has this European value and surely appeals to audiences each astir nan globe.”
The film, presently successful post-production, had a first trial screening pinch fantabulous results crossed each target groups, Berg adds. Leonine will merchandise nan movie connected Dec. 21.
Leonine and Wiedemann & Berg person somewhat accrued their output of German-language movies while looking astatine opportunities to nutrient much English-language film, Berg says.
Leonine’s forthcoming productions and co-productions besides include:
- UFA Fiction’s “The Flying Classroom,” a modern adjustment of Erich Kästner’s classical children’s book written and directed by Swedish filmmaker Carolina Hellsgård (“Sunburned”). It stars Tom Schilling, Trystan Pütter (“Toni Erdmann”) and Hannah Herzsprung;
- Marc Rothemund’s family dramedy “Weekend Rebels,” astir a begetter (Florian David Fitz) who helps his young autistic boy find a favourite shot team;
- “Lassie – A New Adventure,” Hanno Olderdissen’s sequel to “Lassie Come Home,” his 2019 German-language reboot based connected Eric Knight’s 1940 children’s classical astir nan heroic collie.
The films are apt to proceed nan company’s winning streak.
Leonine Studios companies produced aliases co-produced nan highest-grossing German-language movies successful 2020, 2021 and 2022, pinch Verhoeven’s romanticist drama “Nightlife,” Gregor Schnitzler’s “School of Magical Animals” and Sven Unterwaldt Jr.’s “School of Magical Animals 2,” respectively.
Wiedemann & Berg Film besides produced Tim Dünschede’s deed kids’ escapade “The Three Investigators: Legacy of nan Dragon,” released successful January by Sony Pictures.
“Looking ahead, Wiedemann & Berg Film will proceed to nutrient astir 3 films a year, from arthouse to wide comedy, from thriller to family entertainment,” Berg adds.
On nan tv side, W&B Television and Odeon Fiction stay immoderate of German television’s astir prolific producers.
“When it comes to high-end play W&B Television was nan first institution to nutrient a German pay-TV series, nan first institution to nutrient a section Netflix Original and among nan first to nutrient for Amazon Prime Video, Sky and now Paramount+ successful Germany,” Berg says. “We are looking astatine an outstanding slate of projects successful nan past mates of years and a very beardown line-up successful 2023.”
W&B Television’s caller bid see “The Gryphon,” an adjustment of Wolfgang Hohlbein’s imagination bestseller premiering this twelvemonth connected Amazon Prime Video.
Set successful nan 1990s, nan six-part show follows 3 young misfits, played by Jeremias Meyer, Lea Drinda and Zoran Pingel, arsenic they observe a awesome world known arsenic nan Black Tower, wherever nan gryphon, a world-devouring monster, mercilessly subjugates each surviving creatures. It turns retired that 1 of nan kids, an improbable hero, is nan only 1 who tin conclusion it.
“It is nan biggest show Prime Video has made successful Germany truthful far,” Berg notes.
W&B Television is besides producing “One Trillion Dollars,” “the biggest task for Paramount+ truthful acold since their roll-out successful Germany past year,” he adds. Based connected Andreas Eschbach’s bestselling book, nan series, which premieres later this year, follows a young bicycle courier successful Berlin abruptly discovers that he is nan sole heir to a luck invested much than 500 years ago, nan magnitude of which has grown to a trillion dollars complete nan years.
Heading to Netflix is “Criminel,” nan caller bid from Marvin Kren, writer and head of W&B Television’s Berlin-set crime play “4 Blocks.” Berg describes nan show arsenic “a thrilling crime travel from Berlin to Vienna to Marseille, starring Frederick Lau.”
Odeon Fiction, meanwhile, is producing a number of bid for German broadcasters, including caller instalment of ARD’s long-running detective movie bid “Tatort,” nan ninth play of crime play “Ein Fall für Zwei” for ZDF, caller show “Meme Girls” for RTL+ and play bid “37 Seconds” for ARD.
Premiering this twelvemonth connected Warner TV Serie is nan six-part “Boom Boom Bruno,” starring Ben Becker and Vincent zur Linden arsenic mismatched Berlin cops; and connected ARD nan near-future play “Morin,” astir a boy who originates to acquisition changes astatine a corporate-financed schoolhouse promising nosy learning and nan highest standards.
While W&B Television’s presently produces much for streamers, astir of Odeon Fiction’s output is for broadcasters.
In summation to a number of projects connected linear TV, W&B Television has six streaming bid launching this year: nan 2nd play of “Para – We Are King,” astir 4 young women successful Berlin trying to make it while staying retired of trouble, connected Warner TV Serie; “German Genius,” starring Kida Ramadan (“4 Blocks”) arsenic a type of himself who produces a German type of Ricky Gervais’ “Extras”; and Season 3 of deed crime bid “Pagan Peak,” starring Nicholas Ofczarek and Julia Jentsch.