“1899”: Allegations of plagiarism against the series – that’s what the makers say about it

mystery series
Plagiarism allegations against the Netflix series “1899”: That’s what the makers say about the similarity with the comic “Black Silence”

At the premiere of the series "1899"

Showrunners Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar at the premiere of “1899” at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.

© Leon Bennett/Getty Images/AFP / Getty Images

The series “1899” is currently quite successful on Netflix. But now a Brazilian author claims that the series is a plagiarism of her comic. The allegations caused such a stir that the two “1899” showrunners also commented on them.

“1899” is the new series from the creators of “Dark”. The two showrunners Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese want to continue the success of their first Netflix-Continue hits. “1899” is about a group of European emigrants who travel to America on the ship “Kerberos”. For example, there is a couple on their honeymoon who actually don’t like each other at all, and two dissimilar brothers. But on the way, many inexplicable things suddenly happen, such as strange weather phenomena or the encounter with the ship “Prometheus”, which had actually been missing for four months.

Now a Brazilian author is making serious allegations against Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese: Mariana “Mary” Cagnin accuses the two showrunners of having stolen the idea for “1899” from their comic book “Black Silence”, which appeared back in 2016. She writes: “It’s all there: the black pyramid. The deaths inside the ships. The multinational crew. The seemingly strange and inexplicable things. The symbols in the eyes and when they appear.”

Mary Cagnin suspects that everything has to do with the Gothenburg Book Fair in 2017: She writes: “Then I was invited by the Brazilian embassy to take part in the Gothenburg Book Fair. I took part in panels and distributed the comic ‘Black Silence’ to numerous publishers and people from the industry distributed.”

But Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese didn’t want to let these allegations sit down. Friese commented extensively on her (now deactivated) Instagram profile about the allegations, as reported by various media, including the “Berliner Zeitung”: “A Brazilian artist claimed that we stole her graphic novel. To make one thing clear: We didn’t. Until yesterday we didn’t even know of the existence of the graphic novel.” For more than two years they would have poured blood, sweat and tears into the creation of 1899. It is an “original idea” and not based on “any source material”.

But Friese also addresses the reason why she probably deactivated her account a short time later: “Nevertheless, we were bombarded with messages – some of them ugly and hurtful. Someone paints the devil on the wall and everyone joins in and doesn’t even check if the allegations are valid. Of course, if this is a strategy to sell more graphic novels, then congratulations.”

Bo Odar also commented and wrote that he wanted to contact Mary Cagnin and clarify the allegations. However, she was combative on her Twitter profile and posted: “The whole case is already being dealt with legally.”

Source: “Berlin newspaper“, “Online version of the comic ‘Black Silence‘”

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