Advanced Search




Aug 30 2018

Berlin, 30 August 2018. Intaglio Films, the new scripted drama venture between Beta Film and ZDF Enterprises, and ndF International Production are jointly developing a new series based on Frank Schaetzing’s bestselling environmental thriller novel that has been translated into 25 languages, The Swarm (Der Schwarm). Production on the 8x45’ minute series will begin in 2019.

Marking Intaglio Films’ debut production, the series will be produced for German public broadcaster ZDF. Intaglio head and multi Emmy® award-winning creative director Frank Doelger (executive producer on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) is set to executive produce The Swarm, together with ndF’s managing director Eric Welbers in partnership with the rights holding company Swarm Production KG, run by Till Groenemeyer and owned by Athos, and Frank Schaetzing and his publishing house Kiepenheuer & Witsch. Schaetzing will also serve as executive producer.

The Swarm, to be shot in English, will be one of the most ambitious television series ever to come from Europe and ZDF’s first big step towards launching major television events. Future seasons are under consideration by Frank Schaetzing and the producers.

For years, mankind has been looking up at the stars in search of another intelligent race - but what if, all this time, we’ve been looking in the wrong direction? The Swarm is a global environmental thriller set in a present day where anomalies and unnatural behavior in marine animals are causing upheaval all over the world. Millions of strange worms suddenly appear on the bottom of the North Sea, drilling their way through frozen methane, threatening to destabilize the entire continental shelf. Swarms of mussels stop large vessels from maneuvering. Toxic jellyfish, lobsters and whales start attacking human beings along the coasts of the world. 

The Swarm follows a global group of scientists and military who come together to tackle one of the biggest challenges mankind has ever faced. They make the chilling discovery that we are not the only intelligent species on this planet – and that deep down at the bottom of the sea resides a collective intelligence which has suffered the ravages of civilisation on its habitat and decided to fight back.

Best-selling author Frank Schaetzing said: “The question about a possible film adaptation of The Swarm was the one I was most frequently asked about. Every time my answer was: deadlock. Who would have thought that the ideal team would come together after all, that visionary TV producers and pro-players including ‘Game of Thrones’ creative force Frank Doelger would come on board to steer this large-scale international TV series, which is the strongest narrative form one could adapt an adventure like The Swarm into. It’s full steam ahead from now on. I’m very excited and looking forward to this collaboration!”

Frank Zervos, ZDF Senior Vice President Films and Series said: “The time is now for The Swarm as an international high-end series, for more than just one reason. First of all, the themes of the novel are more relevant than ever in light of the environmental challenges the world is facing today. Also, the format of a TV series offers the narrative and technical tools one would need to make and finance a huge project like The Swarm. And lastly, now really is the ideal time to produce out of Germany on an international scale and adapt the biggest, most successful German novel of the past decade that focuses on a globally relevant and urgent subject matter. We are looking forward to getting started, together with Frank Doelger, on this first project from the newly founded Intaglio and believe that his company and ndf: International Production are the ideal partners. We are delighted that Frank Schaetzing has put his trust in us.”

Intaglio’s Executive Producer Frank Doelger: “After having spent eight seasons in the mythical world of ‘Game of Thrones’, it is great to return to the present with The Swarm and its searing exploration of the impending doom brought about by man’s callous disregard of the oceans, a doomsday scenario as dire as anything imagined by George R.R. Martin.”

Eric Welbers, Managing Director of ndF: “I am delighted to be part of the project and that after a long and difficult path, this outstanding story is finally being brought to the screen. At ndF we love stories that reach and captivate big audiences, The Swarm will definitely do so. I am looking forward to partnering with Frank Doelger.”


For more information, please contact:

Aimee Norman, DDA Blueprint at +44 20 7932 9800

Dorothee Stoewahse, Beta Film Press, + 49 170 63 84 627

Anja Konen-Praxl, ndf,, + 49 89 95826 155


Notes to editors:

About Intaglio Films GmbH

Intaglio Films GmbH is a production joint venture between Beta Film and ZDF Enterprises. The company, headquartered in Berlin, develops, finances and produces scripted English language drama aimed at both the national and global market. Intaglio is headed by multi Emmy® Award winning producer Frank Doelger (Executive Producer on HBO’s Game of Thrones, John Adams, and Rome). Beta Film and ZDF Enterprises are supporting the company with their expertise in the field of international co-production and distribution. 


About ndF: International Production

ndF: International Production GmbH was founded as a subsidiary to ndF, one of the leading scripted TV production companies in Germany.  ndF produces German smash hits as “DER BERGDOKTOR”, “UM HIMMELS WILLEN“ and „AKTENZEICHEN XY“. ndF: International Production will focus on international Co-Productions and capitalize on Eric Welbers long experience in the field. Next to SWARM, ndF: International Production currently develops CROSSROADS, a co-production with Belgium power house De Mensen.