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Dutch director Verhoeven teams with ‘Elle’ writer for new film

Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven pose at the Bafta Los Angeles Awards Season Tea Party January 8, 2017. — Reuters picIsabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven pose at the Bafta Los Angeles Awards Season Tea Party January 8, 2017. — Reuters picPARIS, Feb 24 — Dutch director Paul Verhoeven has teamed up with the writer of his hit thriller Elle for another movie, the French novelist Philippe Djian confirmed yesterday.

“I am right in the middle of writing it, about 50 pages in and having fun,” Djian told AFP.

Its female heroine, however, will not be played by Isabelle Huppert, the star of Elle, he said, as the character is in her late thirties.

Huppert, France’s most revered actress, is 63.

She is one of the favourites for a best actress Oscar on Sunday for her staggering performance as a middle-aged rape victim who turns the tables on her attacker.

The twisted rape revenge thriller last month won Golden Globes for both best foreign film and best actress.

Elle has also helped revive the career of the Dutch provocateur, best known as the maker of Basic Instinct and Total Recall.

By his own admission he had become something of an untouchable in Hollywood after his movies Showgirls and Starship Troopers tanked at the box office.

Both films have since acquired cult followings, with some critics now arguing that they were “misunderstood masterpieces”.

Djian was tight-lipped about what the new film was about.

“I am a novelist and not a screenwriter,” he said.

“I tend to right big short stories from which scripts unfold.”

Verhoeven, 78, had earlier said that he had three other projects on the cards, which he intended to shoot in France.

He has been long obsessed with making a film on the life of Christ, and is also in talks about making Lyon 1943, which centres on the French Resistance hero Jean Moulin.

A third project, about a crime in an Italian convent in the Middle Ages, is also on the cards. — AFP

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