"It was Hitchcock, who directed Brexit: first an earthquake and the tension rises," tweeted European Council President Donald Tusk, the former Polish premier who chairs summits of EU leaders and is overseeing plans for talks with London.
He was referring to remark widely attributed to the British-born Hollywood film-maker that a good movie "should start with an earthquake and be followed by rising tension".
Ms May called for parliamentary election on June 8, just about the time Brussels has expected formal negotiations to start on the terms on which Britain will leave the EU in March 2019.
Ms May said there was 'no going back' on last year's referendum vote to quit - a result which many in the EU compared to an earthquake - but she wanted to strengthen her own position.
(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald, Editing by Andrew Heavens)