Back in the Habit: Paul Verhoeven to Follow ‘Elle’ With Lesbian Nun Drama ‘Blessed Virgin’
Paul Verhoeven came out of 2016 looking pretty rosy, wowing the audiences at Cannes with the premiere of his devious erotic thriller Elle before bringing the film stateside for a surprisingly positive reception that culminated in a Golden Globe win, and an Academy Award nomination for his star Isabelle Huppert. He’s not quite at the levels of popularity he enjoyed during the ’90s, when viewers lined up for the likes of Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers, but he’s got the spotlight and poised to do something big. So, those of you who had ‘lesbian erotic nun drama’ in the Paul Verhoeven’s Next Picture pool, please come collect your winnings.
The frequent courter of controversy will stay true to form in his next project, freely intermingling the sacred and the profane. Blessed Virgin will adapt a 1986 biography of Sister Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century woman of the cloth who came under fire from her Christly higher-ups for heretical acts. She earned a reputation as a “visionary” (that’s how the Deadline item described her, at least) but still ran afoul of the church doctrine for her impure thoughts, homosexual acts, and fabricated miracles. Virginie Efira, having recently portrayed a devout god-fearer in Elle, will take the lead role in the next film de Verhoeven.
Sister Carlini was quite a character, seducing her fellow nuns and claiming to have gone through a wedding ceremony with a heavenly apparition of Jesus Christ. Was she out of her mind, or just messing with people, or sincerely touched (like, on her third base) by the Lord? Verhoeven’s the man with the answers, and judging from the ever-so-slightly NSFW announcement image, it’s gonna be nice and sacrilegious.