Netflix German Original on Empress of Austria-Hungary


The story of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary and Empress Elisabeth (better known as “Sisi”) is being dramatized in a new German Netflix original series.

Tentatively titled The Empress, the six-part series about the iconic Empress of Austria-Hungary goes into production in spring 2021. Devrim Lingnau (Auerhaus) and Philip Froissant (Black Island) take on the leading roles of the imperial couple.

Katharina Eyssen (Holiday Secrets) is serving as showrunner and writer, and it is being directed by Katrin Gebbe (Pelican Blood) and Florian Cossen (NSU German History X). Jochen Laube and Fabian Maubach from Sommerhaus Filmproduktion (“When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit”) are responsible for the production on behalf of Netflix.

The drama is slated to premiere in spring 2022.

Eyssen commented: “The Empress offers us the chance to tell the moving story of Empress Elisabeth for a contemporary audience. According to a modern image of women. Devrim is not only a highly talented, multi-faceted actress but for me embodies this very woman: intelligent, passionate, rebellious. Philip Froissant, for his part, will make of the role of Franz Joseph something we have not seen before: An ambivalent and fascinating ruler whose conflicts are more topical than ever.”

Eva van Leeuwen, manager of local originals for Netflix, added: “We are immensely pleased to be able to retell the story of this dazzling and much-loved figure—with all the complexity that made up the empress—and thus to delight both an audience that will rediscover Sisi as well as the fans of the cult films from the 1950s. Hardly any other historical figure possesses so much fascination and charisma—even beyond the borders of Austria and Germany. We can’t imagine a better team in front of and behind the camera to tell the story of Sisi and Franz and the Habsburg court for Netflix.”

Laube and Maubach commented: “We are very happy to work again together with Netflix, there in particular with Eva van Leeuwen, and the wonderful Katie Eyssen as author and showrunner on this special project. With Katrin Gebbe and Florian Cossen we were able to win an outstanding directing duo for The Empress, our absolute dream combination. To experience Devrim Lingnau and Philipp Froissant as Sisi and Franz in front of the camera by these two filmmakers, who are highly esteemed especially for their intensive acting, will be a huge feast. With these such highly talented young actors as the face of our series, we go into the coming year with Katie, Katrin, Florian and Eva and couldn’t be happier about it.”