Paul Verhoeven has announced that his next film will be an adaptation of Louis Couperus’ novel The Hidden Force. Speaking on the Dutch television show Zomergasten (”Summer Guests“) [via /Film], Verhoven said “[The Hidden Force is about] rebellion against colonial rule, the emergence of fundamentalist Islam, the behavior between people, adultery and psychic powers. It is a story about things that we do not understand but it does happen.” It won’t be an English-language production, but that’s okay. Verhoeven hit a homerun back in 2006 with Black Book and I’m glad that he’s finally moving forward with a new project. And this material sounds perfect for Verhoeven’s strange-yet-wonderful sensibilities.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of The Hidden Force.
In The Hidden Force the decline and fall of the Dutch resident Van Oudyck is caused by his inability to see further than his own Western rationalism. He is blind and deaf to the slumbering powers of the East Indian people and countryside. The black magic, bird calls, vegetation, heat and the mysterious, hostile attitude of their Javanese subjects prove stronger than the cool power of the colonials.
A novel written in 1900 and set in the Dutch East Indies. It concerns a colonial official who is undone by his wilful application of reason to a culture that is steeped in the mystical and irrational.