Dutch production house Revolver Amsterdam has acquired the film rights to A. F. Th. van der Heijden’s novel “Mooi doodliggen” (Play Dead), inspired by the 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster, and is developing it as a feature.
MH17 was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on July 17, 2014, while flying over Eastern Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed.
Dutch director Rolf van Eijk (“My Foolish Heart”) and screenwriter Roelof Jan Minneboo (“Pomegranate Orchard”) are attached to develop the project.
Producers Germen Boelens and Raymond van der Kaaij of Revolver said: “The MH17 disaster is etched in our national memory, a national trauma. Making a film about this is not an easy task, but A.F.Th. Van der Heijden’s novel turned out to be the perfect foundation. It paints a striking and highly topical picture of a political world where everyone is a victim. A story that gets under the skin, about fake news, deception and the eternal search for the truth.”
Van der Heijden’s “Tonio,” a novel about the sudden death of his only child, won him the Libris Literature Award and the NS Readers’ Prize and sold some 200,000 copies in the Netherlands alone. A film version of the novel was released in 2016. Another one of his novels, “The Fury,” was also adapted and released in 2016.
Revolver previously produced Kaweh Modiri’s Rotterdam winner “Bodkin Ras,” Ernesto Contreras’ Sundance winner “I Dream in Another Language,” Joost Vandebrug’s Busan winner “Bruce Lee and the Outlaw” and co-produced Whit Stillman’s “Love & Friendship.”