December 31, 2018 / 2:55 PM / 8 months ago

Women take the lead as classic German war film gets TV reboot

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - First came “Ghostbusters” then “Ocean’s 8”. Now “Das Boot”, the German classic set on a World War 2 submarine, has been remodeled for the #MeToo era in a television series featuring female leads.

The eight-part drama was produced for Sky and was such a success when it aired in Germany that a second series has already been commissioned, the broadcaster said a press statement. It will be shown in Britain in the new year.

The television series is a sequel to the Oscar-nominated original, which became the most expensive film in German history when it was made in 1981.

Director Wolfgang Petersen portrayed the universal suffering of war from the perspective of German troops in his six-hour movie detailing the claustrophobic life on a U-boat.

The television reboot follows a trend for female-led versions of hit movies - including “Ocean’s 8”, a box office hit starring Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett.

It cost nearly $33 million to make and introduced a parallel storyline about the French Resistance which fought with Allied troops against Germany’s Nazi military.

Studies have found that women are still often sidelined and shown in stereotyped roles across both television and film.

Women took only 40 percent of speaking roles on prime-time U.S. television shows in 2017-18 and were much more likely to play “personal life-oriented roles”, such as wife and mother, the “Boxed In” report from San Diego State University found.

Across the 100 top-grossing films of 2017, women accounted for less than a third of speaking roles, according to analysis by the University of Southern California.

Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls, Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking and slavery, property rights, social innovation, resilience and climate change. Visit to see more stories

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