Mike Van Diem Sets ‘The Surprise’

Dutch romantic comedy focuses on assisted suicide

Filmmaker Mike van Diem has come on board to direct the Dutch romantic comedy “The Surprise.”

Content Film is launching sales at Cannes in all markets except Holland, Belgium, the former Dutch Colonies, Luxembourg and Germany.

Els Vandevorst  is producing with Hans de Weers in co-production with Mike Downey and Sam Taylor, Nino Lombardo, Macdara Kellerher and Michael Eckert.

“The Surprise,” currently in pre-production, centers on a man who’s depressed by his bland existence and decides to hire a firm specializing in assisted and seemingly accidental suicides. After signing an irreversible contract, he meets a beautiful woman — giving him something to live for and forcing him and her to use their wits to outsmart the contracted firm.

Van Diem received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998 for “Karakter,” which he wrote and directed based on the novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk. Vandevorst’s credits include “It’s All So Quiet,” “Winter in Wartime,” “Dogville” and “Dancer in the Dark.”

Van Diem is represented by CAA and Mosaic.

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