‘King of Stones’: Satisfying the Abused Sense of Justice

Several TV projects have already tried their hand at the Wirecard scandal. For example, the excellent documentation by producer Gabriela Sperl and the Sky and ARD team, which was also nominated for the German Television Award 2021, as well as the rather hasty documentary “The Big Fake – the Wirecard Story” by UFA Fiction for RTL + (at that time Nor TVnow), as Christoph Maria Herbst starred as Wirecard CEO Marcus Brown, but was then unable to carry it alone.

In the new Netflix series ‘King of Stones’ recently released, Matthias Brandt plays the head of the online payment service provider – and he can play it brilliantly given the series’ showrunners and managing directors of BTF Matthias Moormann and Philip Käßbohrer happily out of the very close association with the Wirecard case, resulting in To slow down the UFA project for RTL+. This not only protects the budget for potential legal disputes – it also helps with the quality of this bittersweet series.

So what are the six episodes? The story tells of the rise and fall of a completely fictitious online payment service provider based in Düsseldorf, which was run by various scams (almost a political issue in itself for a production company in Cologne). It’s about the dirty past, great advertisements, and slow action in reality. Quick jokes in expensive suits now and then convey the feelings of “suits” – just unscrupulous.

Of secondary importance is how close or far away the “King of Stones” is from the real Wirecard financial scandal. The story by Käßbohrer frees itself from the shackles of the already bizarre genre of documentaries, so it can escalate completely and over the course of the six episodes becomes much more than a reassessment of the Wirecard scandal, because: “Every crook needs someone who wants to betray” the series says. This brings the actual dimension to the point.

We get a satire that depicts crazy industry habits, not just one market participant. “Let’s be honest: no company in Germany has reached the top without a questionable company history,” says the chain. Others get their fat too. It’s a criticism of the ill-fated Deutschland GmbH, with a grin – not that of reckless conspirators, but that chain of companies that 20 years ago were considered the solid backbone of the German economy.

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The amazing journey of an online payment service provider, whether real or imaginary, is made possible by others who do not want to be controlled or blinded. The mechanisms have either failed or been used to their own advantage. At first you get excited, especially with COO played by Thomas Schubert of the company mentioned in the CableCash chain. It’s unbelievable what you can get away with, you think – and you don’t really know if you should laugh.

“Damn the product. Stake is our product. Investors should get what they want!” In Matthias Brandt’s portrayal of CEO Magnus A. Kramer, who has the craziest scenes, nailed with fake teeth, the series, created under Jan Bonny’s creative leadership, shows how true value and perception diverge in the modern financial circus. How madness is presented in the form of unrestrained parties and whimsical whims bearing the unmistakable signature of BTF.

Well, of course, the image of an unfettered financial world without any action has always been there. Is this new? No, but Wirecard’s real case confirmed: the reality could be worse. Thus, this short six-part series is a much-needed satiation of the overall sense of justice. Legal processing often takes time, and that resounding slap in the face is now coming faster. The financial industry is put in front of the mirror by the pop culture mediums of serial entertainment – and the famous Matthias Brandt mocks it.

They deserve it – and we deserve it.

The six-part ‘King of Stones’ season is now available on Netflix

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