Just under a year ago we heard that Paul Verhoeven, the director of Total Recall, Robocop and Basic Instinct, had signed on to direct The Surrogate for 20th Century Fox. The film is based on a 2004 book by Kathryn Mackel and centers on 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. Halle Berry signed on to play the mother, however we haven’t heard anything about it since.
Verhoeven recently spoke to MTV about the film, which he says is still in the works, and he explained why the project is a difficult one to get off the ground.
“Halle Berry is attached to the project and we discussed it all. The question is where do we get the $30 million to do a project that includes a lot of things that have to do with abortion and… surrogate mothers.”
Verhoeven told Josh that Berry is in for the role of the hopeful mother-to-be; if the surrogate has been cast, the filmmaker didn’t mention it. He also didn’t get into the particulars the conflict at the center of the story, saying only that “you can read about it in the newspapers nowadays.”
Verhoeven sees the end result as “provocative and sexual,” an aesthetic which he feels has been too long absent from popular cinema. “There are nearly no movies anymore with sex clearly in it,” he said. “If you look at what’s there, it’s all PG-13. There is really no R anymore.” The plan is for “The Surrogate” to change all that.
First of all, who the hell doesn’t want to provide the funds for a “provocative and sexual” movie starring Halle Berry and directed by Paul Verhoeven? Halle may have had 3 years off to have a child and probably isn’t as ‘bankable’ as she was in her post-Oscar years, but still…
Secondly, I think Verhoeven has a point. Studios nowadays want to appeal to everyone so as to maximize revenue and increase toy sales. When was the last time we saw something a bit different? A bit naughty? Kick-Ass is the only recent movie I can think of that took a risk with a 12 year old murderer, and it will probably pay off. The young demographics may be the people giving Harry Potter and Batman all the box office gross, but there are still adult currently in existence who may want to see something a bit more grown up.