Leidseplein setting for Netflix film about the hostage situation: “What is this for?”

A blood-curdling film scenario. This is how the hostage situation in the Apple Store has been regularly described and Netflix must have felt the same way. They have started shooting a film about the hostage situation. And so parts of Leidseplein in Amsterdam around the store were closed today.

The closure often took place in stages, so many people could continue on their way as usual. Cyclists often had to turn off before the square and follow a diversion. Extras ran up and down on the square for hours, because the evacuation of the store was re-enacted today. “I think it’s cool,” describes a young spectator. “I’m an actor myself, so I enjoy seeing all this in motion.”

For a woman who works on the square it is a different experience. “We experienced it all live,” she says, pointing to her office. “Luckily I left the building ten minutes before it started, but the rest of the tenants all had to stay. They had to survive without eating until about 9 o’clock in the evening. They were all able to see it live.”

Documentary AT5

Parts of the square will also be cordoned off tomorrow for filming. This is the last time the film crew will be on the square during the day, but a few nights will still be needed to shoot scenes. The Apple store is closed today and tomorrow, but no filming is being done in the store. The makers recreate the store in a studio.

Passers-by will therefore have to adjust for one more day and today this was not easy for everyone. The traffic controllers regularly had to deal with misunderstandings. For example, a pedestrian tried to continue walking, but a traffic controller did not allow that. “Those fences are there for a purpose and he apparently didn’t care about that,” he says afterwards. “Some absolutely love it and others are like what the hell is this all for.”

The Netflix film will premiere in 2025. The documentary about the hostage situation, made by AT5, can be seen next Thursday, February 22, at 8 p.m.