Netflix continues to push into local content, producing its first Dutch film, war drama “The Battle of the Scheldt,” in partnership with local broadcasters and other backers.
Alain de Levita is producing the Dutch-Belgian picture through his Levitate Film banner. It will be in movie theaters in the Netherlands in November 2020, and on Netflix – where it will be branded as a Netflix Movie – in the U.S. and the rest of the world. Production is about to get underway on the $15.5 million war film, which will be helmed by Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr.
Set in late 1944 and shot in Dutch and English, the film centers on the bloody but crucial battle that claimed 10,000 lives but secured supply lines for the Allied forces’ push to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. It follows the lives of three people involved in the conflict: a young Dutchman fighting for the Germans, a stray English glider pilot and a local girl who is part of the resistance movement. Gijs Blom (“Boys”) stars as the Dutch soldier and Jamie Flatters (“Avatar 2”) as the British pilot. Susan Radder plays the resistance fighter.
Levitate is producing with Paula van der Oest (“Tonio) and Mark van Eeuwen (“The Bodyguard”). Caviar, the Belgian producer behind psychological thriller series “Tabula Rasa,” which plays on Netflix internationally, is a co-producer. Dutch pubcasters EO and NPO are on board the movie, marking their first collaboration with Netflix. The movie is also backed by CoBo, Nederlands Film Fund, Flemish Audiovisual Fund and the Belgian Tax Shelter.
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The project was initiated by the vfonds, the Netherlands’ National Fund for Peace, Freedom and Veteran Care. “Directing this forgotten battle, with a Dutch and international cast, promises to be a real spectacle,” Heijningen said.
“In this film we show war like never before in a Dutch movie,” de Levita added. “We also consciously chose a young cast. With this talented Dutch and international cast, we set the tone for a grand and compelling war drama, especially [for] a young generation [that] must experience what it was like to grow up in a war and the consequences of the choices young people made then. “
Netflix is putting down roots in the Netherlands. It will open its new European headquarters in Amsterdam next year.