Another children film for Pieter Kuijpers
by Boyd van Hoeij europeanfilms.net
24/08/2005 - Director Pieter Kuijpers seems to have abandoned the violence and realism of his debut film Van God los (Godforsaken) and its follow-up Off screen in favour of material geared towards children. Kuijpers has just finished shooting the adaptation of the Paul van Loon children's novel Griezelbus ("The bus of creeps") with his Van God los star Angela Schijf and is currently preparing the adaptation of another popular children's work: Tonke Dragt's Brief voor de koning' ("Letter for the king").
Brief voor de koning was written in 1962 but has remained a popular children's read; last year it was voted the most popular children's novel of the last fifty years. The book, infused with motives from both Celtic and Germanic mythology, is set in the early Middle Ages and tells the story of 16-year-oldTiuri, who on the eve of being knighted, will be asked to deliver a very important letter to the king of a neighbouring kingdom. On his difficult journey, he will have to try and stay out of the claws of the dangerous Red Riders and prove to be a knight even before having been knighted.
Maarten Lebens, who also adapted the children's novel Polleke for the big screen, will write the screenplay. The film will be a joint co-production between Egmond Film and Television and Armada Productions. It is the first time that a novel from Tonke Dragt will be filmed for the cinema, the 74-year-old author herself will be attached to the production as an advisor. The film should reach Dutch theatres in the autumn of 2006. There will be a veritable battle for the attention of children at the box-office at that time; another medieval themed Dutch production aimed at children (though in English this time) called Crusade in jeans and also based on a popular novel, is currently shooting under the eye of director Ben Sombogaart (De tweeling) and is scheduled to be released in December of 2006.