Brexit ‘complications’ behind rejection of NI as location for new German TV series


A TV producer behind HBO’s Game of Thrones has blamed the complications of Brexit as the reason why a new German sci-fi drama is not being filmed in Northern Ireland.

a Swarm – adapted from the successful 2004 novel by Frank Schatzing – is being turned into an eight-part drama series for German television.

The show was primarily filmed in the Italian regions of Lazio, Veneto and Puglia, but it is believed that Northern Ireland could have been a contender with the involvement of triple Emmy producer Frank Doelger in the project.

The man who worked on Game of Thrones until series five said the “situation” with Northern Ireland “got more complicated after Brexit”.

According to the Northern Ireland Screen, Game of Thrones injected £ 251million into the local economy between the show’s production start in 2010 and the finale in 2019.

“All of the rules and regulations regarding round trips of equipment, transport from Northern Ireland, have become something much more complicated and I know in Game of Thrones you know what made that possible, we could put actors on a plane either to Belfast or drive them to Dublin, [and] make them work in Spain, ”Doelger told The Guardian.

The novel on which the series is based sold over 4.5 million copies after its publication in Germany and Austria in 2004.

The book follows a set of protagonists who investigate what at first glance appear to be bizarre events related to the world’s oceans, but which turn out to involve an intelligent entity.

The TV adaptation will be filmed in English rather than German as part of a ZDF plan to secure major international sales and operate streaming services.

“A lot of broadcasters realized that with the advent of streaming services, the kind of projects they were buying in the UK or the US – the high-quality, high-production English series that were very important. for a younger audience – and a more international audience – they weren’t going to buy anymore, ”Doelger added.

“I think there isn’t the resistance you would expect because these projects were specifically designed to fill a gap in their timeline.

“No local producer who does the standard German TV rate would agree to something like this.

“It’s not that they tell local producers that they are not going to support the local language, we are just taking the airtime and the money allocated for acquisitions and project creation.”

The show is slated to premiere next year and will star Leonie Benesch, who played Prince Philip’s sister Cecilie in The Crown.

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