Press release: Revolver announces film inspired by the MH17 plane disaster

Dutch production house Revolver has acquired the film rights to Dutch novel Mooi Doodliggen (‘Play Dead’) by A.F.Th. van der Heijden, inspired by the 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014 while flying over Eastern Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed.

The novel is set in 2018, when during a tumultuous meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, dedicated to a devastating plane crash in the Ukraine, a report starts to circulate among journalists that their Russian colleague Grigori Moerasjko was shot dead in Kiev. A friend of his, Dutch war reporter Natan Haandrikman, immediately decides to fly from New York to Kiev to assist Moerasjko ́s newly widowed wife Yulia and investigate the truth.

Producers Germen Boelens and Raymond van der Kaaij (Revolver Amsterdam): ‘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.‘

AF. Th. van der Heijden ́s work has been published in Germany, UK, Bulgaria, Sweden, Russia, Hungary, Finland. A.F.Th. van der Heijden (b. 1951) won the Constantijn Huygens Award for his oeuvre in 2011. In the same year the published Tonio, a requiem novel about the sudden death of his only child, which won him the Libris Literature Award and the NS Readers’ Award and which sold almost 200,000 copies in The Netherlands alone. In 2013 he received the P.C. Hooft Award for his entire oeuvre. The film adaptation of The Hellcat was released in March 2016 and that of Tonio in October 2016.

Dutch director Rolf van Eijk and screenwriter Roelof Jan Minneboo are attached to develop the project. Amsterdam based Revolver previously produced films such as Sundance Audience Award winner ‘I Dream in Another Language’, Berlinale selected ‘Supernova’ and co-produced Whit Stillman’s ‘Love & Friendship’