With movies on seemingly indefinite hiatus – pour one out for the oft-delayed Basic principle– until we collectively get our act together, streaming platforms are picking up the slack, pumping out original movies and new series to keep us entertained while we all take social distancing. Netflix just released the trailer for its latest foreign offering: the German sci-fi thriller Biohackersabout an ambitious young medical student who seeks revenge against her mentor for the scientific sins of the past.
Not much background information is available on the series (even on IMDb) yet, other than the identity of the showrunner, Christian Ditter, and the main cast members. German-born Ditter is best known in the United States for directing the 2016 rom-com. How to be single? and for his work on the 2017 Netflix comedy girlboss, based on the autobiography of Sophia Amoruso, who founded the Nasty Gal company. †girlboss received mixed reviews and was canceled after one season.) Biohackers seems an important departure for him and especially promising given the success of the German sci-fi series Darkwhich has just completed a stunning third and final season on Netflix.
Jessica Schwarz, best known for her performance in the 2006 thriller perfume: the story of a murderer (based on Patrick Susskind’s 1985 novel), stars as Professor Tanja Lorenz. Swiss actress Luna Wedler plays Mia, a young medical student who is sucked into the world of underground biohacking and illegal genetic engineering experiments. “Stories in which ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances have always fascinated me,” Ditter told Biohackinfo last fall after the footage wrapped. “By partnering with Netflix, we’ve been able to tell a gripping story that focuses on layered and believable characters.”
According to the official premise:
From THC chips to genetic improvements, welcome to the world of Biohacking. When Mia (Luna Wedler) starts medical school, she looks like any other student. But when she gains the trust of the brilliant professor Lorenz (Jessica Schwarz), it becomes clear that she is hiding a secret so big it could change the fate of humanity. From the director of girlboss (Christian Ditter) comes with a thriller that makes you question the composition of life itself.
The trailer opens with Professor Lorenz giving her incoming class a lecture. “Let’s talk about the future,” she says. “Synthetic biology has made us from creatures to creators. It is not only the future of medicine, but also of humanity. It is our responsibility to create the world of the future. You are the creators of tomorrow.” Then we see Mia arrive for medical school and meet her new roommates: a woman who opens the door, a cute nerd-looking young man and another young woman proudly showing off her science project – a plant-based bio piano.
The roommates soon meet some cute, science-minded guys, Jasper and Niklas, one of whom invites Mia to his home to check out his biohacking lab at home. Granted, it’s the scientific geek equivalent of inviting someone to see your etchings, but Jasper has managed to inject a mouse with green fluorescent protein to make it glow green, which is tailor-made to charm.
Before long, Jasper helps ambitious Mia land a job at Professor Lorenz’s biotech company. And that’s when the problems start. Mia may have ulterior motives for joining Lorenz’s research group and asking questions about exactly what kind of research is being done. “Things you can’t do in college,” a cryptic Jasper tells her. Mia’s curiosity arouses Lorenz’s suspicion. And Mia has a secret, it seems, regarding childhood memories of her younger brother. Perhaps they were both part of one of Lorenz’s early experiments, which ended badly. Mia vows to ruin Lorenz in revenge. But will she end up endangering her new friends in the process?
Biohackers will be released on Netflix on August 20, 2020. In German with English subtitles.
List image by Netflix