I spotted a "Dutch Ministry of Defence" line in the "thanks" section of Aquaman's end credits

"Courtesy of...The Dutch Ministry of Defence"

This surprised me, because I don't see in what way the Dutch Ministry of Defence could have participated in this production. I thought it might have been something being filmed in Dutch waters, but if I am to believe IMDb, the filming mainly took place in Morocco, Canada and Australia.

The only interesting result returned by the Google query "aquaman" "dutch ministry of defence" seemed to be the Karel Doorman-class support ship, but upon further research, it doesn't seem to be featured in the movie (which leads me to believe that it was part of the results only because the Wikia page may have contained an ad for the movie).

So what could it be? Is there a Dutch person in the full cast and crew who was "lent" by the Ministry for counseling or something? Or does it have nothing to do with the movie per se, but some ministries being thanked in movies for a bigger reason I don't know about?

  • 2
    Maybe they have experience building things underwater, because of the dikes, and were consulted about that? I have no specific evidence for that surmise.
    – nebogipfel
    Dec 23, 2018 at 23:03
  • 1
    @nebogipfel maybe, although even if there are $$$ involved, I dunno if it's in line for an official Defence organisation to provide know-how for entertainment, especially when it's foreign entertainment? Alex provided several links in chat, but they're mainly about US/UK. This one is the most interesting, maybe the Dutch Ministry has sthg similar - but even then, they probably don't have the authority to provide filming grounds in Australia/Morocco/Canada?
    – Jenayah
    Dec 23, 2018 at 23:10
  • 4
    Might have been a deleted scene or a literal ship that was loaned out to the production crew for support in the oceanic surface scenes Dec 24, 2018 at 15:03
  • 3
    Might have been like how many things that happen to be partially made in Georgia have a "Georgia Film Music & Digital Entertainment" logo in them to save a tiny bit on taxes (e.g. Who is America and some Bravo TV shows) Dec 27, 2018 at 2:47
  • 2
    I've tweeted at the Dutch American Embassy and the official Dutch Ministry of Defence accounts. Neither were able to offer any useful answers
    – Valorum
    Dec 27, 2018 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


The true answer may involve a personal matter which will never be exactly known. Fortunately, the OP's actual problem is understanding why this gratitude would even exist. They ask, "So what could it be? To this question, there is a very logical answer involving Aquaman's Newfoundland production unit:

Hypothesis 1: There happens to be an accident while filming in Australia and one of the Newfoundland crew is taken to the hospital. The family in Canada is notified and needs to immediately fly to Australia to be with their loved one.

Hypothesis 2: Digital editing in Newfoundland ran longer than expected and some employees need to work longer than 6 months.

Both of these situations would likely need help from the Dutch Ministry of Defense's (DMD).

Obviously, this opens more questions. Why would a Canadian family need the DMD help to fly a family to Australia, or to work longer than 6 months?! Really??

Yes, really. But that is a great question! And odd as it seems the answer is very logical and even probable.

In short the Canadian film industry - and Newfoundland in particular - simply has and actively employs a large population of Dutch citizens who would require specific visas and passports to travel internationally while working on this project. Such documents are issued by the Dutch Ministry of Defense (DMD).

Canada has established free trade with The Netherlands through a Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). Dutch citizens can work in Canada for up to 6 months without a work visa. To the Dutch Canada is a land of opportunity. In fact both nations are trying to make themselves mutually visa exempt by 2020. This generates a lot of migration from Netherlands to Canada. It's free, after all, and Canada has tax-exempt jobs!

One of the unintended negative consequences of the heavy Netherlands-Canada migration is what the DMD refers to as "brain drain." The Dutch consider this a serious national security threat. What is that? Specifically, on page 5 of The Hague Center for Strategic Studies reports that

The Netherlands suffers from brain drain to Canada, which remains the top destination chosen by the highly-skilled migrants migrating from the Netherlands.

Because of this threat, the DMD looks very closely at work visa applications and has to consider if granting one may hurt the nation. Certainly, an application is not casually "rubber stamped."

So what highly-skilled Canadian jobs are Dutch citizens taking?

Canadian Government Creates Incentives For Film Industry Jobs
Newfoundland and Labrador specifically are suffering an unemployment crisis with over 13% unemployment in 2017. This is forcing them to create great incentives to invest in Newfoundland industries, specifically film industries. The Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Finance has established a tax-exempt corporation, the NLFDC. This company was literally formed by the provincial Canadian government for the mission of promoting Canadian film industry:

The NLFDC has been mandated to promote the development of the indigenous film and video industry in the Province, as well as to promote the Province in national and international film and video markets

The NLFDC literally makes film production in Newfoundland and Labrador completely tax exempt - including payroll for cast and crew.

The combination of film incentives, free trade with Netherlands, and an ample population of highly-skilled Dutch citizens who don't need visas to work means it is almost certain this film employed several Dutch citizens in their Newfoundland unit.

Why the DMD is involved: All Dutch visas and passports are issued and managed by the DMD.

  1. A Dutch employee reached the end of his/her 6-month visa exemption during production, requiring them to get an emergency work visa from the DMD.

  2. Human trafficking is a serious problem for the Dutch, as such they are very proactive in preventing international child abduction. A Dutch minor who needs to travel internationally MUST get the DMD to directly authorize children traveling internationally.

Again I think you won't get a complete list of employees on this project with their nationalities conveniently displayed, but it's not at all unusual that many people working on a very lengthy Canadian film were dutch and as such needed special consideration for travel. If you read the entire credits through you will see several dutch names in the Newfoundland unit. Those are very likely not Canadian citizens, and the DMD would have to grant visas and passports as necessary for their citizens to work on this production beyond their 6 month exemption or take their children to Australia, italy, or Morocco.

Additionally the OP mentions the possible use of Dutch military vessels in production. At this point that is pure speculation, however once again it would not be unusual for Dutch equipment to be used in a Canadian production due to CETA. The Dutch do have a military presence in Canada mostly to assist the ageing Canadian defenses. One possible but unlikely way the DMD would need to assist the Canada unit would be to carry a film crew or mounted a camera on a helicopter. Canada doesn't even own military helicopters, the Dutch have AH-64 Apache helicopters deployed. This again is pure speculation and seems unlikely.

  • 5
    This feels like guesswork
    – Valorum
    Sep 30, 2019 at 8:42
  • Surely it would be trivially easy to check on IMDb for the names of all cast and crew and then cross reference them with, for example Twitter accounts, to see if any of them are Dutch nationals
    – Valorum
    Oct 1, 2019 at 6:26
  • When it is pure guesswork, it would be better, probably, to leave this as a comment rather than as a speculative answer (in my opinion). There's really no good reason to imagine this is the case any more than that one of the pieces of equipment required a quick consultation over the phone with someone at the Dutch military
    – Valorum
    Oct 1, 2019 at 13:12
  • 1
    All the Australian stuff only works when you're upside-down
    – Valorum
    Oct 1, 2019 at 15:07
  • Much, yes. Always better to mark guesswork as such.
    – Valorum
    Oct 1, 2019 at 16:21

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