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Verhoeven speaks!!

02.28.2007

I've never made my love for director Paul Verhoeven's style and films a secret on this site (ROBOCOP, BASIC INSTINCT, STARSHIP TROOPERS, TOTAL RECALL...), so I've been filled with glee since hearing that his latest flick, BLACK BOOK (Limited release: April 4th) has been drumming up some of the best reviews of his career, his first since the debacle that was HOLLOW MAN (see more on that below). We recently interviewed the great man for our site (although that interview will be posted closer to his film's release), but received a cool email from 'A spy' today, who also saw and loved the film, but also took part in a Q&A with the director, who spoke candidly (as he always does) about his films and his upcoming projects. Check out all of the cool details below, and before that, allow me to once again, plea my case to the man publicly: Come back to Hollywood, Mr. Verhoeven...you're our only hope....hehehe. We need a real rain to come in and wash all these NORBITs off the streets.

Hey guys. Just call me a spy. I was at a screening of BLACK BOOK last night, and at movie's end, Paul Verhoeven came out and talked for a good 45 minutes. As he's one to be, he was funny, exuberant, and very candid. I won't go into everything he talked about, as most pertained to BLACK BOOK and what it was like working in Holland again after all these years (it was just a "sabbatical" and he still enjoys living in LA), but he dished on a few upcoming projects in the pipeline. Note: he didn't specify which of these things was next, only that they were both options and both being developed.

First he mentioned a book that he was working on adapting, Pete Dexter's THE PAPERBOY. Apparently, Pedro Almodovar was attached to this a few years ago and it was going to be his first English language film, but he dropped out and Verhoeven and Jan de Bont, acting as a producer, picked it up. Book is a Florida-set murder mystery about two brothers, one a journalist, one a truck-driving "paperboy" for their father's newspaper, and their involvement in the murder of a small-town sheriff. It gets a lot more complicated than that, think of it as CHINATOWN in Florida, with some Verhoevian jabs at journalism and the media.

The other project is also based on a novel: 2004's THE WINTER QUEEN, and it too is a murder-mystery, albeit one that sounds a little more epic in scope: In 1876 Moscow, a wealthy young student kills himself in Alexander Gardens, in full-view of a shocked public. The cop assigned to the case finds, of course, this wasn't just some showy suicide, but an event linked to a terrorist conspiracy that has global proportions. Flick wouldn't just be set in Russia, but all over Europe... (This one seemed more likely than PAPERBOY to be his next, but that's just a hunch on my part, he never actually specified.)

Since BLACK BOOK itself is a bit of a detective story, Verhoeven mentioned a few times his affinity for the genre, hence movies like BASIC INSTINCT, THE 4th MAN and even TOTAL RECALL to an extent.

EXTRA TIDBITS:

-He said the most controversial scene he's ever filmed was the Michael Douglas-Sharon Stone sex scene in BASIC, which was brought in front of the MPAA about 12 times before it got an R rating. The second most? The Michael Douglas-Jeanne Tripplehorn scene in the same film. Third? Murphy's death-by-a-gazillion-bullets in ROBOCOP.

-He's writing a book about Jesus, the "real man," and stated without humility that it'll be very controversial (ya think?) When asked if it'll be more like THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST than THE PASSION... he scoffed and said it was very far away from both.

-He said that the filming of HOLLOW MAN was so interfered with by studio execs (i.e. SONY), and the end-result so unsatisfying, that he decided he wanted to go back outside of the studio system and make a more personal movie (glad he finally owned up to that piece of junk). That's where BLACK BOOK came into play, although it was a story idea that he's had in mind for 30 years. Elements of it were in his SOLDIER OF ORANGE screenplay originally, but that became so long that he cut them out.

-He said that he was able to get away with so much in STARSHIP TROOPERS because the studio was constantly changing hands and no one was ever in definite control. The suits were so tied up with this in-house chaos that nobody ever got around to actually seeing his movie. By the time he was in post-production, and someone commented "Why are they all dressed like fascists?!" it was too late for them to do anything about the film's off-the-wall humor and content.

Hope this was informative guys and that you can use some of the material... If you've got any questions or want more info, feel free to ask.

Extra Tidbit: Paul Verhoeven = great man.
Source: JoBlo.com

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