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Netflix's 1899 - What We Know So Far

Fans of the international sci-fi series "Dark" will be happy to learn that a new mind-bending story from creators Baron bo Odar and Jantje Friese will be coming to Netflix. The show is called "1899," and if its successor is anything to go by, then viewers are surely in for a wild ride.

For those unfamiliar with Netflix's "Dark," the mystery thriller combines high drama and a complex time travel narrative that jumps between present day and periods in the past, all while revealing the dark secrets of a small German town and the families who live there. The show has earned global acclaim and currently has a score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. The third season wrapped on Netflix in June 2020, leaving fans blown away and ultimately satisfied with the conclusion.

If their first hit is anything to go by, then Odar and Friese are certain to deliver the thrills once again with "1899." But what do we know about this new Netflix series? While the news is still fresh, here's what info we've gathered so far.

When is 1899 coming to Netflix?

The production for "1899" has been a learning curve for the writing team Friese and Odar, who originally planned to use traditional filmmaking methods in developing the series. However, travel became impossible due to the global pandemic, and so the creators had to find another way around that hurdle. They found it through the magic of virtual production — the breakthrough tech which uses gaming engines to create virtual backgrounds and effects in a studio (via The Hollywood Reporter). This same technology has most notably been utilized in filming for "The Mandalorian." 

As for how long until we get to see this cutting-edge tech for ourselves, we don't know for certain. Filming for "1899" began in early 2021, although the creators told Deadline that learning the new virtual method of filming has been a challenge. "It sounds like a magic tool, but it's really, really tricky," Odar told Deadline. "It's like if you're used to driving a car and now you suddenly have to fly a plane. It's a big, big difference." If everything goes smoothly, "1899" could see a release sometime in 2022.

Who will be in the cast of 1899?

"1899" will have an international cast of characters, fitting the story's plot of emigration to the new world. The show will break language barriers as every cast member will be speaking in their native tongue. Many of the actors hail from various European countries, including the U.K., Denmark, Spain, Belgium, and Poland. Making the series multilingual was something the showrunners had planned from the start, as Friese revealed to Deadline.

"Being true to the cultures and the languages was really important, we never wanted to have characters from different countries but everyone speaks English. We wanted to explore this heart of Europe, where everyone comes from somewhere else and speaks a different language, and language defines so much of your culture and your behavior," Friese said.

Among the diverse ensemble cast is Aneurin Barnard, Alexandre Willaume, Gabby Wong, Emily Beecham, Yann Gael, Anton Lesser, Maciej Musial, Clara Rosager, Jonas Bloquet, Miguel Bernardeu, Maria Ertwoler, and several others. "Dark" fans may also recognize Andreas Pietschmann, who played the Stranger in all three seasons of the series. None of the character names have yet been announced.

What will 1899 be about?

The Netflix official plot summary for "1899" reads: "Multinational immigrants traveling from the old continent to the new encounter a nightmarish riddle aboard a second ship adrift on the open sea." This intriguing premise is a good start, but not much to go on. However, there are a few speculations we can make.

The first (and most obvious) assumption is that the story begins as a period piece set in the year 1899, at the turn of the century when many Europeans historically emigrated to the U.S. — however, this is from the makers of "Dark," so things are likely to get a lot more complicated. Odar and Friese teased a few hints of what audiences can expect in the new series in an interview with Deadline. 

"Everyone can be assured that this is going to be something weird and wild and crazy," Odar told Deadline. Don't expect another time travel plot, though. "We don't repeat ourselves, we really hate that, but it's going to be a fun puzzle for the audience. We are going back to our mystery roots." Co-writer Friese added: "All the passengers on the ship are traveling with secrets that they don't want to get out." So, while we don't have a more in-depth plot just yet, "1899" promises to be just as thrilling and twisted as "Dark," and we can't wait to see it.