Film unit acquires rights to Maarten Treurniet's thriller

MPI Media Group has acquired all North American rights to helmer Maarten Treurniet’s “The Heineken Kidnapping,” a hit Dutch thriller starring Rutger Hauer (“Batman Begins”) that’s based on one of the most notorious and sensational crimes in modern European history.

MPI will release the pic theatrically this fall, with subsequent VOD and DVD releases.

A Topkapi Films production, “The Heineken Kidnapping” is produced by Frans van Gestel, Arnold Heslenfeld and Richard Claus.

Written by Treurniet (“Black Snow”) and Kees van Beijnum, pic stars Hauer as Alfred Heineken, who in 1983 was one of the world’s most successful brewers and perhaps the most influential man in the Netherlands – and thus a target for kidnappers. He’s snatched by a team of inexperienced, hotheaded young criminals and is held for 21 grueling days in a cold, cramped cell. Rendered powerless for the first time in his life, Heineken finds himself at the mercy of the gang’s youngest member, who takes special pleasure in humiliating and frightening the business magnate. When the huge ransom is finally paid, Heineken is set free – and begins to plot his elaborate revenge.

Pic co-stars Reinout Scholten van Aschat, Gijs Naber, Teun Kuilboer and Korneel Evers.

“‘The Heineken Kidnapping’ is an incredibly suspenseful film based on a true crime that dominated international headlines,” said MPI’s exec VP Greg Newman. “Rutger Hauer delivers a commanding performance, and we are proud to be able to bring this film to a wide audience.”

“We are very happy about having such an experienced company as MPI taking care of the US release of ‘The Heineken Kidnapping,'” added Topkapi Film’s Heslenfeld.

The North American distribution deal was negotiated by Newman and Stefanie Zeitler of Global Screen, the world sales unit of Bavaria Film and Telepool.

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