Paul Verhoeven talks the Showgirls sequel that never was

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

I remember SHOWGIRLS being a big deal back when it first came out.

First off, I was 15 years old – the perfect age to want to see Elizabeth Berkley, who I had known as Jessie Spano on SAVED BY THE BELL, naked. But secondly, society in America seemed to be losing their shit out the steps that needed to be taken in order to make an NC-17 movie as difficult as possible for people to see.

Oh… how foolish we all look in retrospect, given how SHOWGIRLS turned out.

Don’t get me wrong… Over the years, a devoted following has really developed that comes to the defense of the film every chance they get, and there is certainly a new level of appreciation for the movie. But, at the time, SHOWGIRLS held in only the lowest regard.

That makes fascinating a few tidbits that Paul Verhoeven has recently spoken about, in regards to the film, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. First up is the effect the film has had on careers, with SHOWGIRLS all but ending any ideas of Elizabeth Berkley as a leading female. She was still able to score work after the film, but it was never on the level of opportunity Verhoeven gave in casting her as Nomi Malone. But who could have been in line to take that bullet had Verhoeven gone in another direction? Verhoeven reveals it could have been Charlize Theron.

Charlize also auditioned, and I don’t recall her having any problem with the nudity at all.

She was good and wanted the part, but basically she was not well known enough at the time and just did not fit the part, so we said no.

I have full respect for Charlize, but if she had been offered the part then she would probably have been chewed up in the same way they treated Elizabeth.

She was very lucky that she did not get the part.

I wish Charlize congratulations for that because it would have have been a miserable 20 years for her!

As for whether or not SHOWGIRLS could be remade now, given how the climate for the original film has changed, Verhoeven doesn’t think he has something like that in him. However, there was a sequel being developed at the time SHOWGIRLS was happening that was eventually scrapped when the movie bombed at the box office.

I would not do a ‘Showgirls’ remake — one movie was definitely enough! But we had actually been working on the sequel to ‘Showgirls’ which was going to be called ‘Bimbos’ and was going to be ‘Nomi does Hollywood’, but after ‘Showgirls’ was released there was no way anyone was going to give me money for that.

If we could just make Elizabeth Berkley 20 years younger now I would love to make ‘Bimbos’ today.

Oh, what a world we might live in today if Charlize Theron had starred in SHOWGIRLS and/or that original film would have been successful enough to warrant a follow-up. Now that is a game of “What If?” worth playing.

Source: New York Daily News

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