Paul Verhoeven's never been one to beat to anyone else's drum, so it's no surprise that his next proposed project defies description. It seems much more in line with the movies he's made overseas, like BLACK BLOOK and THE FOURTH MAN, as opposed to his sensational, over-the-top Hollywood efforts.
On the Dutch t.v. show "Zomergasten", the mad director announced that he's embarking on adapting the novel "The Hidden Force" for the big screen. Via Slashfilm, he had this to say about what you can expect: [The movie is about] rebellion against colonial rule, the emergence of fundamentalist Islam, the behavior between people, adultery and psychic powers. It is a story about things that we do not understand but it does happen."
Ah, is that all? To delve a little deeper, take a look at the synopsis for the Louis Couperus novel (published in 1900), which is just as mystifying: A novel written in 1900 and set in the Dutch East Indies. It concerns a colonial official who is undone by his wilful application of reason to a culture that is steeped in the mystical and irrational.
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.
Evidently, Verhoeven has been trying to get THE HIDDEN FORCE off the ground since the 70s, but has obviously never been able to do so. Let's hope his passion project finally sees the light of day in the near future. As of right now, no other names have been mentioned in conjunction with the flick...
Verhoeven's masterpiece, SHOWGIRLS