In March 2016, the German-language TV movie Duell der Brüder was a big hit for RTL and has recently been rebroadcasted.  The 120-minute movie tells the emotional and heroic story of the German Dassler dynasty: The story follows the success of the two brothers, Adolf and Rudi, as well as their successful partnership, the long-standing and bitter family feud, and, ultimately, the dramatic separation in 1948 – which is also the date when two global conglomerates – Adidas and Puma – were born.
The film itself, actor Ken Duken, and set design were all nominated for the German Television Award. The film did well at the New York City Film Festival, receiving eight awards in total, including ‘Best Narrative Film’, ‘Best Actor in Leading Role’ for Torben Liebrecht, ‘Best Actress’ for Nadja Becker, ‘Best Cinematography’ for Georgij Pestov, ‘Best Film Editing’ for Ingo Recker, ‘Best Original Music’ for Frederik Wiedmann, and ‘Best Costume Design’ for Elisabeth Kraus.

There were also nominations for Ken Duken for ‘Best Actor in Leading Role’, and Pico von Groote for ‘Best Actress’.

This very German family biography was co-produced with G5 fiction by producer Michael Souvignier (Zeitsprung Pictures).

The project was supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen and the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

  • Written by: Christian Schnalke
  • Screenplay Consultant: Stephan Lamby
  • Historical Consultant: Professor Gregor Schoellgen
  • Director: Oliver Dommenget
  • Cast: Cast Ken Duken as Adolf Dassler, Torben Liebrecht as Rudolf Dassler, Nadja Becker as Friedl Dassler, Picco von Groote as Käthe Dassler.
  • RTL Editor: Brigitte Kohnert
  • RTL Head of Fiction: Philipp Steffens
  • Executive Producer: Daniel Mann
  • Producers: Michael Souvignier (Zeitsprung) and Uwe Kersken  (G5 fiction).

Uwe Kersken: This idea came first came up back in 2005, when I made a two-part docudrama about the history of soccer with my old company, Gruppe 5, in the run-up to the South Africa World Cup.  The Cain and Abel story of the two brothers was already part of the film back then.