If you’re looking for your next Netflix drama binge, look no further than The Defeated. Starring Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall and Friday Night Light‘s Taylor Kitsch, The Defeated takes place in 1946 Germany in the chaotic aftermath of World War II. Kitsch stars as Max McLaughlin, an American cop who arrives in Berlin in the summer of 1946 to help create a police force following the devastating war. The show dropped on Netflix on August 18, and it’s already sitting at Number 8 on the streamer’s Top 10 chart.
Interestingly, The Defeated is a European import and is titled Shadowplay abroad. Not only that, but director Måns Mårlind explained that the US cut has some major changes to the original. “Shadowplay is the Creator’s cut,” he tweeted. “Two episodes longer, different score, different editing, etc. Shadowplay is available in Australia, France, Germany to name a few territories. The Defeated is the US version.”
Taylor Kitsch, Michael C. Hall, Tuppence Middleton, Logan Marshall-Green, and Nina Hoss star in The Defeated, a thrilling series set in 1946 that follows an American who arrives in Berlin in the aftermath of World War II.
Now on Netflix pic.twitter.com/bhWhSHSoFi
— Netflix (@netflix) August 18, 2021
Kitsch spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about shooting something with the massive scope of The Defeated. “[Creators Måns Mårlind’s and Bjorn Stein’s] vision is so big,” he explained. “Even shooting-wise, we have huge action set pieces but then also very beautiful scenes. Today we have a huge scene, where we blow up the police station. It looks unbelievable. Dust rising like a huge cloud before the firefight ensues. It’s the biggest action sequence we have in the whole series.”
“But it’s the heavier stuff, the emotional stuff, that is going to drive the show,” Kitsch continued. “And that’s what I find most challenging. Me and my brother Moritz [Logan Marshall-Green] go through trauma, our mom is shot in the kitchen by our father and we see it. My character, Max, deals with that trauma completely differently from Moritz. So every time we have a scene together, the stakes are so high. I was talking to [The Defeated co-star] Nina [Hoss] yesterday and was saying how the scenes I struggle with are exposition. I hate exposition, talking to drive a storyline. In the scenes that are black and white, where it’s clear what’s happening and what the stakes are, those are the scenes you live for. Waco was like that: it was clear what I was doing in every scene. It’s similar here.”
Kitsch, who began his career as fan-favorite Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights and attempted to parlay that into a Hollywood film career with movies like John Carter, Battleship, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, admitted that he’s enjoying digging into meatier roles again with projects like The Defeated. “I think it’s more my wheelhouse now than it’s ever been,” he explained. “I think that’s originally why I went to study acting. I never ever thought it would be a possibility to end up leading crazy big movies or series. I just wanted to do indies. I love it. It is the most fulfilling.”