This is the epitome of why the Internet is great. Paul Verhoeven, famed for Showgirls, Basic Instinct, Robocop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers, announced on Dutch television his next film project. So some guy emails someone, who tweets something, which is then seen by SlashFilm, and so we get to report on something announced on fricking Dutch television. You know what that level of international communication and coordination required in the sixties? Three government agencies, field agents, shoe phones and monkeys in space. Now we just clickety the wickety and anybody can talk about the Dutch dickety.
In any case, The Hidden Force (George Lucas lawsuit pending) is based on a Dutch novel written in 1900 and deals with the intersection between European rationalism and Islamic spirtualism in the Dutch East Indies. Dutch art dealing with Islam … I’m sure this will end in a perfectly civilized manner, right?
Here’s SlashFilm’s rough translation of Verhoeven’s description:
“[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.”
Here’s the obligatory Amazon description of the novel:
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. This edition contains an introduction and notes.
I wonder if the film will be faithful enough to include the introduction and notes.
The film is slated to be filmed in Dutch, and will be adapted to a screenplay by Gerard Soeteman (who also worked on Verhoeven’s last film, the very well received Black Book), but other than the summaries of the novel getting cut n’ pasted from Amazon, nobody knows much else. Except that since Verhoeven is in charge, there’s going to be toplessness.
The book is old enough that it’s out of copyright entirely. If you’re interested, here’s the Google Books link where you can download the entire novel.