34 years after working together on genre-defining dystopian action movie RoboCop and more than two decades after their final project together, Starship Troopers, director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Edward Neumeier are gearing up to work on something new once again. Verhoeven and Neumeier are moving forward with Young Sinner, a political thriller that is set to be “an innovative version” of films like Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction.
In a recent interview with MovieMaker, the duo commented on what they are trying to do with the new story. Neumeier decided to talk about the plot, what to expect, and revealed Young Sinner is female-led:
“Young Sinner is a political thriller set in Washington, D.C. Our heroine, a young staffer who works for a powerful Senator, is drawn into a web of international intrigue and danger, and of course there is also a little sex. […] We have been consulting with a former intelligence officer, Ron Marks, who is trying to keep us real about Capitol Hill and the spy business, but satire always seems to emerge when Paul and I work together, so I expect our new adventure will have a light tone.”
Verhoeven, on the other hand, shared his expectations toward the script and said he wants to innovate, but not in the way that audiences expect:
“I really think that what Neumeier and I, at this moment, want to do with this script, Young Sinner, will be an innovative version of movies like Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct. And it would not be adding all kinds of digital elements. As little as possible. […] But this would be more explosive, and more open-minded to a big audience.”
Open-mindedness is almost a rule of thumb for Verhoeven’s projects, which frequently shock audiences when it comes to social themes, either through satire or flat-out criticism. RoboCop became a cult classic for the way it depicted authority and how capitalism breeds a flawed society. And the Dutch director keeps on pushing the envelope; his latest film, Benedetta, tells the story of a nun who shocks religious society when she starts a romantic relationship with another nun in 18th-century Italy. It was selected as one of the best films of 2021 by the National Board of Review.
Young Sinner has yet to get a release date or further production details.