Paul Verhoeven Next Adapting Dutch Novel 'The Hidden Force'
It's been about four years since director Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Starship Troopers) directed anything. His last film was the WWII drama Black Book in 2006, but the filmmaker recently revealed his next project (via SlashFilm) on the Dutch television show "Zomergasten" (or "Summer Guest"). The project comes from Black Book screenwriter Gerard Soeteman, and is essentially an adaptation of Louis Couperus' 1900 Dutch novel De stille kracht, or The Hidden Force. Rougly translated, Verhoeven says the story follows rebellion against colonial rule, the emergence of fundamentalist Islam, adultery and even psychic powers. Whoa!
If you're looking for a little more than bullet points on the story, here's the synopsis from the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature:
In 'The Hidden Force' the decline and fall of the Dutch resident Van Oudyck is caused by his inability to see further than his own Western rationalism. He is blind and deaf to the slumbering powers of the East Indian people and countryside. The black magic, bird calls, vegetation, heat and the mysterious, hostile attitude of their Javanese subjects prove stronger than the cool power of the colonials.
That sounds relatively interesting, and maybe even more so with Verhoeven being the one bringing the book to life. We're not sure what this means for a couple of other in the works projects that have been mentioned with Verhoeven involved, but it sounds like this adaptation will be his very next project. Though Verhoeven has gone from great hits like Total Recall and RoboCop to complete misses like Showgirls (despite being a cult classic) and Hollow Man, plenty of film fans are still excited about the prospect of his next feature (just like we are!). We'll keep you posted with updates on Verhoeven's future projects, so stick around as always.
Update: Variety has just confirmed this exact news and it looks like The Hidden Force (although they call it just Hidden Force) will indeed be the next film from Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. They also add that the story takes place in 1900 on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies and is indeed based on Couperus' novel. The project is being produced by Black Book producer San Fu Maltha with Gerard Soeteman writing in cooperation with Verhoeven. Apparently Verhoeven has "always wanted to direct a film about the former Dutch colony." Shooting is expected to start later this year for release sometime in late 2011. Sound good?