Michiel de Ruyter - Movie


Posted on 2012-02-07

Producer Klaas de Jong and director Roel Reine will present MICHIEL DERUYTER to International co-productions partners, distributors and press at the European Film Market in Berlin 2012.



Producer Klaas de Jong and director Roel Reine will revive naval hero Michiel de Ruyter in a heroic epic film.
The Dutch Reine has lived and worked succesfully in the US since 2005 and now returns to make his first Dutch movie in ten years. 
The screenplay is written by Alex van Galen & Lars Boom.
The shooting will start in 2014 in the Netherlands and the UK.

“Wars are fought by many, history is made by few….”




The story:
A naval hero is sent on a deadly mission when he becomes more powerful than the ruling House of Orange…
2012. In the dead of night, British historian Bentinck opens the grave of William 
III of Orange in London’s Westminster Abbey.
He discovers a diary containing a letter.
1677. A sad William 
III of Orange attends the funeral of Michiel de Ruyter with his comrades. It’s the biggest state funeral ever in Dutch history. William III was a great admirer of Michiel de Ruyter, honoring him with a monumental tomb in a church on Amsterdam’s central Dam square. During the funeral, second in command Cornelis Tromp – the very jealous and spoiled son of legendary Dutch admiral Maarten Tromp – reacts furiously when he learns that, once again, he will not be the next Supreme Commander of the fleet.
Twelve years before: Holland is the first republic in Europe. The royalist Orangists seek to get the young, unfit and alleged homosexual William 
III(‘King Billy’) on the throne, bringing the country on the verge of civil war. Michiel de Ruyter is a stubborn Republican who married middle class widow Anna rather than marrying within his class. Promoted to the rank of Commander of the Dutch fleet by the
Republicans, he has to save the country from English threats during the 1st Anglo-Dutch war.
Michiel de Ruyter defeats the English in two naval battles in a spectacular and innovative way. At home, his wife Anna provides key support, always outwitting Cornelis Tromp’s malicious wife. Meanwhile, behind the Republicans’ back and led by Cornelis Tromp, the Orangists are trying to strike a deal with the English King Charles II, William III’s uncle. The envious, hot-tempered Cornelis Tromp, exerts himself to take de Ruyter’s position and even hires an assassin. The attempted murder fails. The Republicans, led by Johan de Witt, realize they have to take action against the Orangists to strengthen their political position. They come up with a daring plan: Michiel de Ruyter is to sail up the Thames, and attack and burn England’s fleet by surprise,
right on their home territory. The plan is a success. England’s main naval ships are burnt, turning Michiel de Ruyter into the biggest living hero in Dutch history. England promptly signs a peace treaty with the Dutch Republic.
Meanwhile, the Orangists are not sitting still. In the ‘disaster year’ of 1672, when the English unexpectedly break the peace treaty and attack the Netherlands in alliance with France, the Bishopric of Munster and the Archbishopric of Cologne, the Orangists put the blame on the Republicans. They stir up the people, who lynch a number of Republicans and friends of de Ruyter, including the De Witts brothers. The house of Orange is back in power. 
Much to Cornelis Tromp’s dismay, William 
III greatly admires de Ruyter and re-appoints him as Chief Commander of the Dutch fleet with Tromp as second in command. With this decision, William hopes to save the nation and to gain support of the Dutch people. However, Michiel de Ruyter is seen as a key representative of the Republicans. Relatives of William III in England and other European countries reproach him of not being in control of the situation. The European monarchy is at risk. William III then offers de Ruyter honourable discharge on one condition: de Ruyter has to perform one last mission and free a number of clergymen and slaves in the Mediterranean Sea. 
De Ruyter feels that it will be his last voyage, but he is loyal to his country. At his destination, England’s new allies, the French  eet, attacks his ship by surprise. De Ruyter is fatally injured and dies on April 26, 1676. When his ship sets sail back to Holland, carrying its embalmed Admiral on a bier, the French, English and Spanish vessels o er a spectacular salute wishing it a safe journey back home.
The House of Orange manages to secure its positions in the Netherlands and in England, by deviously and indirectly murdering the country’s largest naval hero ever. William 
III is crowned King of England, where he dies in 1702. His loyal friend Bentinck, Earl of Portland, places Willliam’s diary and the apology letter he never sent to de Ruyter’s widow, Anna, in his coffin. William III takes his secret
with him to the grave. 
2012. Westminster Abbey. British historian Bentinck puts the letter back into the coffin and closes William’s grave once and for all.

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