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At 85, Paul Verhoeven Plans Two New Films: ‘Young Sinner’ and ‘Sans Compter’

Age is not slowing Paul Verhoeven. The 85-year-old Dutch-born director of such sci-fi hits as RoboCop, Total Recall, and Basic Instinct is working on two new films.

The first, Young Sinner, has been described as an “erotic political thriller” set in Washington DC. It narrates the story of a Congressional staffer who is “drawn into a web of international intrigue and danger.”

As if that weren’t enough to keep an octogenarian busy, Verhoeven is also planning to direct Sans Compter, a film adaptation of Philippe Djian’s novel. The reports first surfaced in an article in the French magazine Premiere and confirmed by producer Saïd Ben Saïd. Verhoeven’s 2016 film Elle had been an adaptation of Djian’s novel Oh.

According to its synopsis, “Sans Compter tells the story of Nathan, a journalist, fascinated by Gaby, his mother-in-law, a poet. The latter lives in the same vast estate property as Nathan and his wife. One day a promoter tries to buy parts of the land to build an amusement park and comes up against Gaby’s categorical refusal. Things get worse: a deputy gets annoyed, a hiker mysteriously disappears and Nathan unravels. The novel is told from Nathan’s questionable point of view.”

Verhoeven’s work first became known in 1973 when he made the romantic drama Turkish Delight, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. It later was named Best Dutch Film of the Century at the Netherlands Film Festival. Other films he created during these early years included Keetje Tippel, Soldier of Orange, and The Fourth Man. His first film in Hollywood was Flesh and Blood (1985).

After working in the United States for twenty years, Verhoeven returned to his native Netherlands to make Black Book (2006), which won him many awards.

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Edward Moran
Edward Moran
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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