1899: the Netflix series may be a huge plagiarism

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The series Netflix, 1899, created by the authors of Dark, might actually be a huge plagiarism.

It is always difficult to distinguish the simple homage, sincere inspiration and shameless plagiarism for many artistic works. The cinema is of course affected by the problem. Moreover, Luc Besson and James Cameron are not the only ones to have been accused of the worst (respectively for Lock Out and Avatar) and they are far from being the alone. Indeed, Ridley Scott had to settle with the great science fiction writer A.E Van Vogt, since Alien, the eighth passenger was based on the 'one of the author's news, without permission.

This type of business will undoubtedly continue, in the future, to shake all players, including the biggest ones, in the film industry or the small screen. Thus Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, creators of the excellent series Dark have just been accused of plagiarism. Their last baby 1899, broadcast on Netflix, would have been more than inspired by a 2016 comic strip. Indeed, the Brazilian artist Mary Cagnin revealed, during multiple tweets, more than disturbing similarities between 1899 and his work on the comic-book Black Silence.


O dia que descobri que a serie 1899 é simplesmente IDÊNTICO ao meu quadrinho Black Silence, published in 2016.

Segue o fio. pic.twitter.com/1deBicrBeQ

— Just Mary (@marycagnin) November 20, 2022

“ I was shocked the day I discovered that the 1899 series looks exactly like my comic Black silence, released in 2016. ”

Supporting images, the designer displays all the existing analogies in the series and her comic strip (the entire thread is available on Twitter via the tweet above). In addition, she took the opportunity to explain that Black Silence(which she had translated into English) was rejected by all publishers at the time. However, many publishers generally keep rejected works, as Mary Cagnin rightly points out. So it could be that other companies, including Netflix, had access to a copy of Black Silence.

In the present case, at first glance and according to the various original excerpts presented by the artist, the series would not pay a simple tribute, but would copiously copy graphic elements as well as plot pieces from Black Silence. Indeed, the black pyramid, the heterogeneous multinational crew, the symbols in the eyes or the unexplained events that occur in the series (especially in the finale), would indeed exist in Black Silence.

So for now, even giving the benefit of the doubt to Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, we can only give some credit about Mary Cagnin. Currently, all the evidence provided by the designer corroborates her version. If plagiarism were proven, the backlash for the 1899 screenwriters and Netflix would likely be high since copyright regulations effectively protect the aggrieved party.

For the moment, neither the platform nor the authors have yet spoken on the subject. We are firmly awaiting a forthcoming statement from them.

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