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Paul Verhoeven’s next film to feature culture clashes, fundamental Islam, and psychic powers

Will Schiffelbein

by: Will Schiffelbein
August 23rd, 2010

Paul Verhoeven's track record is one of the more interesting pieces of record in the zeitgeist of Hollywood filmmakers. The guy has done a scathing satire with STARSHIP TROOPERS and the highly regarded member of the cult canon, TOTAL RECALL. By the same token, HOLLOW MAN was his fault. See what I mean?

Despite his mistakes, his next project has me interested. Check out all the details, after the break!

Paul Verhoeven is set to direct an adaptation of The Hidden Force, a novel by one of the most famous Dutch novelists to make a mark on literature, Louis Couperus. The book's themes stem from the clash of cultures which erupted out of the age of exploration in the 16th and 17th century. The Dutch were a major player in this era, despite few pupils in the American education system knowing so; they were notable for their widespread colonization of the East Indies, where The Hidden Force takes place.

The Dutch protagonist of the novel, Van Oudyck, finds himself in an unfamiliar world full of ritualism and animist magic. His rigid adherence to Western ideals and values present a direct challenge to the necessity of adaptation. Speaking of adaptation, how in the world does Verhoeven intend to adapt this novel? While this is one of the most relevant topics in the wide expanse of global issues simply due to its parallels between the West and the world of Islam, I see this as a very difficult story to translate to film.

My doubts are eased slightly when I remember how wonderful satirical STARSHIP TROOPERS was, though this looks to be a much tougher subject to crack. Either way, I'm anticipating this project due to my perpetual interest in parallelism, allegory, and black magic.

Source /Film

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