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(Seewolf, Der)

Sebastian Koch & producer Rikolt von Gagern on the set of “Der Seewolf” (photo © Tele Muenchen/Chris Reardon)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2008

“Life is a mess. Like yeast. A ferment. A thing that moves and in the end ceases to move. The big eat the little so they can keep moving.” (Wolf Larsen)

But what about the potato?! Fans of the original 1971 version of Der Seewolf (“The Seawolf”) still talk about actor Raimund Harmstorf’s scene of sheer, tuber destroying, muscle power! But whether this new version sees any such vegetable cruelty or not, viewers are still guaranteed top notch, high quality, star driven drama.

Once again, Captain Wolf Larsen (Sebastian Koch), the titular sea wolf, has his sailing ship, Ghost, in an iron grip. Taking aboard a shipwrecked literary critic, Humphrey van Weyden (Steven Campbell Moore), Larsen forces the young dandy to work as ship’s boy. Caught in Larsen’s diabolical psychological game, van Weyden has to fight for his life and shows a tough side he never knew existed.

But Larsen has an even more dangerous opponent, his brother Death (Tim Roth), whom he is racing for the sealing grounds.

“Money is all that interests me. Oh – and power of course.” (Death Larsen)

Aboard Death’s steamship is the young writer and shipping owner’s daughter Maud Brewster (Neve Campbell). When she realizes she’s in a deadly trap she flees in a small boat, only to be fished out of the water by Larsen and the Ghost.

“Is kindness and rationality and charity and patience to be despised? I don’t think so. It is what makes us human.” (Maud Brewster)

With a woman now on board the conflict between all concerned is set to escalate, especially that between Larsen and van Weyden.

Jack London’s 1904 cult novel provided a unique mixture of maritime adventure and psychological thriller. The 1971 TV version was a ratings blockbuster for ZDF. This $19 million international co-production looks set to blow previous records out of the water!

Producers Herbert Kloiber, Rikolt von Gagern and Robert Halmi Jr. have cast leading German and international stars such as Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, Black Book), Tim Roth (Rob Roy, The Incredible Hulk) and Neve Campbell (Scream, The Company).

Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) is currently one of England’s most sought after scriptwriters. Here, he has found an innovative new approach to the material which takes nothing away from the original yet still combines it with a gripping dramaturgy. Mike Barker (A Good Woman) directs.

Genre Adventure

Year of Production 2008
Director Mike Barker
Screenplay Nigel Williams
Cinematography Richard Greatrex
Dean Soltys
Richard G, Mitchell
Rob Gray, Terry Quennell, Ian Greig
Cast Sebastian Koch, Neve Campbell, Steve Campbell Moore, Tim Roth
Producers Herbert G. Kloiber, Rikolt von Gagern, Robert Halmi Jr.
Production Company Clasart Film/Munich, in co-production with Gate Film/Munich for ZDF, RHI/New York & Los Angeles
Format 35 mm, color
Shooting Dates Halifax/Canada
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern

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