Heinz: From comic strips to the big screen
by Vitor Pinto
- Producer Jolande Junte and director Piet Kroon are leading the second attempt to adapt the adventures of Heinz the Cat for the silver screen
The adventures of Heinz – the red tomcat with an unexpected ability to cross time and space, created by Dutch cartoonists René Windig and Eddie de Jong – are being adapted for the big screen. The Nederlands Filmfonds has just allocated €500,000 to the €2,000,000 project, a BosBros production to be written and directed by Piet Kroon. Belgium’s Fabrique Fantastique is on board as co-producer.
Currently in development, the film focuses on a day in the life of Heinz, when he wakes up in a strange bed in the Fairy Tale Forest. Everyone is angry with him and his son has disappeared. From then on, Heinz embarks on a zany search and a journey that will take him from Amsterdam to New York, via a mysterious tropical island – a voyage that will allow him to rescue his son and save humanity from being eradicated.
Heinz creators Windig and de Jong first started to publish the famous cat comic strips in Dutch newspapers back in 1987. In 1999, they announced the production of Heinz the Movie, but the project was never finished. What was to become its script was published in 2004 in the Amsterdam-based daily Het Parool.
Kroon and Jolande Junte are now leading the second attempt to adapt Heinz for the silver screen. Junte is general manager at BosBros, and Kroon is a US-based Dutch writer and story artist who has worked on Shrek II (2004), Rio (2011) and Ice Age (2012), among others. Heinz will be Kroon’s feature debut. His short Dutch animated titles Dada (1995) and T.R.A.N.S.I.T (1997) won several awards at international festivals.