Blood Red Sky on course to be Netflix’s most popular German title
James R | On 12, Aug 2021
Blood Red Sky is on course to become Netflix’s most popular German original project to date.
The film, directed by Peter Thorwarth and starring Carl Anton Koch and Peri Baumeister, follows a woman with a mysterious illness who is forced into action when a group of terrorists attempt to hijack a transatlantic overnight flight. In order to protect her son she will have to reveal a dark secret, and unleash the monster within that she fought to hide.
The thriller, which is partly in German and partly in English, premiered on 23rd July and has gone on to occupy a slot in the top 10 most-watched titles on Netflix in the UK and in 92 other countries. Indeed, Netflix projects that within the next week, more than 50 million households will have chosen to watch it – surpassing the previous record holder of Barbarians.
Of course, those figures are worth taking with a large pinch of salt. Where once, the streaming giant classed a “view” as someone watching 70 per cent of a movie or a single episode of a show. Now, it’s changed its measurements to a metric that it says is more accurate, counting the number of times that an account chooses to watch a title for “at least 2 minutes”, which it deems as “long enough to indicate the choice was intentional”, as opposed to an accidental click.
However, Netflix has also reported that “an average of 90 per cent of viewers watched the entire two-hour runtime”, which adds some more clout to the movie’s popularity.
“This surprising airborne thriller is a gripping and unexpectedly moving ride,” we wrote in our review.
“I wrote the screenplay 16 years ago and since then I’ve been running around with the script like crazy,” Thorwarth told Deadline in an interview. “There was a time Universal wanted to make a big studio movie out of it, then the chairman left and it didn’t work out. It went to Universal International in London and David Kosse read it, nine years ago. He called me and said he wanted to do it. It didn’t work out because he left, and Universal kept the rights, even extending the option… Two years ago, he called me again [now in his role as Netflix’s VP International Film], asking me about Blood Red Sky, saying the screenplay had been stuck in his head.”
“I always believed in doing a movie that works globally, because it takes place on a transatlantic flight,” he added. “I liked the idea that we would cast every actor from the country their character is from. It’s very modern. Narcos did it. I like the idea of having German, British, American, Arabic actors in one movie. Of course, on an international flight everyone speaks English. It’s not a typical German movie, it’s not a typical American movie, it’s an international movie.”