Paul Verhoeven to direct a Christian thriller?

Paul Verhoeven is known for many things. Gory sci-fi movies like RoboCop (1987), Total Recall (1990) and Starship Troopers (1997). Trashy oversexed thrillers like Basic Instinct (1992) and Showgirls (1995). And trashy, gory, oversexed sci-fi thrillers like Hollow Man (2000).

But an interest in Christian fiction isn’t one of them.

Oh, sure, he has long wanted to make a movie about the “historical Jesus“, and he has often discussed how the imagery in his films makes critical or subversive use of religious themes. And who can forget that pious member of the Dutch Resistance in Black Book (2006) who is reluctant to use his gun … until he hears someone take the Lord’s name in vain?

But nothing in Verhoeven’s oeuvre would necessarily lead you to think that he’d be interested in directing an adaptation of a Christian novel, under the supervision of a Christian producer.

Nevertheless, that seems to be what he’s doing, now. The Hollywood Reporter says Verhoeven is going to develop and direct an adaptation of The Surrogate, a book by Christian novelist and screenwriter Kathryn Mackel; and the film will be produced by Ralph Winter, who previously worked with Mackel on the Christian films Left Behind: The Movie (2000) and Hangman’s Curse (2003) but is better known for his work on the X-Men (2000-2009) and Star Trek (1984-1991) franchises.

The story itself, according to the Reporter, concerns “a couple desperate to have a child who find themselves in an unbearable position when they find out the surrogate they hired to carry their baby is insane.”

Even without the Christian subtext, I can only imagine what someone like Verhoeven would do with a premise like that. But put the two together and, well, the resulting film should be pretty interesting.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).

  • Carmen Andres

    “…the resulting film should be pretty interesting.”

    you have a gift for the understatement, heh.

  • Magnus

    Huh, I was about the write the exact same thing. Almost, I wouldn’y have added the “heh”.

  • RC

    That is really interesting — it reminds me of my series recently on “what Christians want”

    i don’t know about the story of “The Surrogate” I certainly would be interested in knowing more of it’s ‘Christian sub-text’ and whether Christians will be marketed to with this film.

  • Dave

    Please Were or How can i watch this Bible Series Film if possible for free online