For a brief, shining moment, Paul Verhoeven was the hottest shit. Robocop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct. The dutch import was not only making films that smuggled interesting ideas into blockbusters, he was making huge hits. And then came Showgirls. And Starship Troopers. And Chud punchline, Hollow Man. This wave of failure sent Verhoeven into the wilderness, and he returned to his homeland to make the excellent Black Book. Here’s the good news: Verhoeven is back.
According to Mike Flemming over at Deadline Hollywood, Verhoven is now attached to direct Eternal, The premise is that the main character is thought to be having an affair, and he is… but with a ghost! So basically it’s Basic Instinct meets The Hollow Man, right? I recently rewatched Basic instinct, a film our friend Mr. Beaks called “Vertigo with herpes” and that assessment is right on the money. Verhoeven manages to direct the film with such great control that the script’s homophobia and misogyny sort of work for the film. Sort of. Or maybe it’s just fun to see Verhoeven in full Hitchcock mode with a script that allowed him to do it (it was a Joe Esterhas $3 Million dollar special).
The other big development in this project seems to be that it’s going to be done on a budget from $10 to $25 Million for production company Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. They are planning to do more films in this price range. This is good news in that it seems smart to make a number of modestly budgeted B movies, as those often can do solid business.
Big ups to Mike Flemming, who makes Deadline worth reading.