Rutger Hauer preparing directorial debut 'Changing Fortunes'


After the return of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven to his native soil to direct a WWII drama last year, his star of Soldaat van Oranje (Soldier of Orange), Rutger Hauer, is also planning to return and direct a WWII film of his own: Changing Fortunes. It will be the directorial debut for Hauer, who became a well-known face in American cinema through films such as Bladerunner and Blind Fury. The film will be a European co-production and tell the story of real-life Dutch patrician banker Wally van Hall.
Unlike Verhoeven's Zwartboek (Blackbook), Hauer's new film will in English, though the story's protagonist is Dutch. Walraven ("Wally") van Hall was a humble patrician banker who, during WWII, set up a fraud scheme that raised over 600 million dollars, which he used to save over 80,000 families from the clutches of the opressors. During five years Van Hall continued his activities, until, 90 days short of the liberation of the Netherlands, he was betrayed dramatically. Says Hauer: "He was the brain behind the biggest, most ingenious banking fraud in European history. Everyone, wherever they may be, should know the story about this man."

Hauer, recently the subject of the Simone de Vries documentary Blond, Blue Eyes, added that he wants Changing Fortunes to concentrate on the personality of this "unsung hero", and keep the events of WWII in the background. The script for the film was written by Annie Perkins and Russ Haan, and filming is scheduled to start early next year.