The sequel to "The Thomas Crown Affair" just got a lot more intriguing with the announcement that Paul Verhoeven will direct it. The Dutch master of suspense, eroticism and violence was in great form with his most recent thriller, "Black Book." He ought to give Pierce Brosnan's jewel-thief story a massive injection of adrenaline and hormones.
Post by sparklingblue on Nov 16, 2007 4:49:38 GMT -5
I'm really wondering who they'll get for the role of Nadia. Just the description of her narrows down the field to at least IMO more European or Middle East dark haired beauties. If you add in some degree of popularity/fame and an age probably between 30 and mid 40s (yes I know he's older but this is Hollywood and MGM is paying) and aside from Jolie (the biggest name as far as press is concerned) I can think off the top of my head maybe two others: Monica Belluci and Famke Janssen. Both also have the required earthiness/sex appeal that the role if it's anything like the original film requires. Of the two Famke is the much better actress in English and she's Dutch like Verhoeven which might give her another in.
I don't want to offend Angelina Jolie or her fans, but I just don't see her with PB. But maybe that's just me. You know, I never thought of Famke Janssen, but imo she would be perfect. You're a genius! I've seen her in a couple of movies besides GE and always liked her in the roles. And she has great chemistry with Pierce. I think Monica Belluci would look well next to PB, but I have never seen her in anything, so I'm really judging "by the cover".
As long as Famke doesn't swear in Russian. Or they hire a different speech coach. Or whatever. Personally, I perfer her over Jolie, too.
I'm confused. I thought Verhoeven was working on Azazel right now, but its release date in IMDB is 2009 and Topkapi is 2008...? Of course, I'll be glad to see Topkapi as soon as possible... (I'll be also glad to see a well-made version of Azazel, too, but it's beside the point, if not out ot the question...)
Verhoeven I gather has been developing both. The star of Azazeal, Milla was pregnant and the filming was postponed from the summer. She just had her baby but I'm not sure how ready she is to start filming. TCA2 as the larger film probably gets first place on his schedule if it's ready to go and it seems as if it is even with the writer's strike but we;ll see.
I wonder what they're going to do with Azazel. If they go by the the book, the aforementioned star of the movie will have, oh, about 15 minutes of screen time; maybe a bit more. Milla Jojovich is the right type, though, so maybe they did decide to wait for her. I didn't know about the baby.
Paul Verhoeven, oh my! Maybe a gamble or a wild card as a director, can be unreliable, for sure, but with a fair breadth of talent, and capable of doing a film that has a certain sweep and scale, which would fit the globe-trotting, exotic type of film we expect Topkapi to be. If you go back to one of his best films, "Soldier of Orange," it was a grand, almost old fashioned adventure, but with a complex multi-faceted group of characters. Maybe he will rely on that sort of classic model with TCA2. Verhoeven’s apparently been in good form recently with “Black Book.” I’ve been in holds queue at the library for that one, and when my turn comes around I’ll let everyone who hasn't seen it know how it is.
The conventional wisdom has been that Hollywood corrupted Verhoeven, but I think it mostly turned out the other way around. <wink> With his great romping id, I think he’s fascinated with American culture, in all its excess, and likes to satirize and celebrate that in lots of his Hollywood films. When in Rome, outdo the Romans. Sometimes it works, sometimes it flames out spectacularly, like with Showgirls, LOL! I think that one, really, was a case of Verhoeven and Esterhaus going hog wild without a baby minder on their playground and reinforcing each other’s worst tendencies. At least Verhoeven showed up to pick up his Razzie award. Gotta love him for that.
I do have a few worries (not really Showgirls level ones, mind, because the genre of Topkapi will be such different ground) because within Pierce’s playing of TC lies such a subtle character and even at Verhoeven’s best his directorial style can be a rather blunt instrument. I hope there aren’t moments where the Thomas Crown we know gets a bit lost. On the plus side, the choice of Verhoeven shows they’re willing to take some risks with a strong minded, mercurial director, and make the transition to give Topkapi a boldness and different feel and flavor from TCA.
One thing we’re almost guaranteed is a rather frank level of sexuality and that PV will do his best to make sure Pierce and his female bedside companion both get their kit off, and that can only be applauded by the likes of us, LOL! I should qualify that by saying that all Verhoeven films have some tasteless scenes, but I hope they don’t happen here in the sexual realm. Then again, is it possible to have a tasteless sex scene with Pierce?
Oh, and Ace, I think Famke would be an inspired choice, too.
I’ve just returned from the beautiful Greek islands of Skiathos and Scopolos, where I was filming Mamma Mia this summer and into the fall. I had a wonderful time working with Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Waters, Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried, and Dominic Cooper.
This January I’m off to South Africa to begin filming an action / adventure picture called Vanilla Gorilla.
Married Life, an ensemble piece, written and directed by Ira Sachs and starring Christopher Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Patricia Clarkson and myself is due for release this winter.
In fall 08, I will return as Thomas Crown, which will be directed by Paul Verhoeven.
For anyone who missed Seraphim Falls, an epic action/thriller set against the backdrop of the American Civil War starring Liam Neeson and myself, it is available on video and DVD.
Hope your holidays are filled with love, joy and the spirit of the season!
All good wishes, Pierce
As Verhoeven intimated the writers strike has pushed back the start date of the film. And the threatened Actors/Directors strike of June 2008 probably determined the projected start date.
Hopefully it doesn't happen and maybe then the film will be pushed up to earlier summer.
Just so we know what he's been up to, I promised to report on "Topkapi Affair" director Paul Verhoeven’s film, "Black Book," which I finally got to rent and watch. I remember once reading an interview with Verhoeven where he talks about living in post–war, bombed out, Holland as a very small boy and finding it all a great adventure, full of visceral impressions -- the sights and smells, picking through rubble and finding interesting objects, and the maimed and the dead. The obvious film parallel is to the small boy in John Boorman’s “Hope and Glory,” though that boy does grow up and learn the harder lessons of war. You suspect that Verhoeven never really grew up, or wanted to, and that WWII is just as much a big playground to him as Vegas was in "Showgirls" – not that I’m comparing the two, LOL, just warning you that this movie isn’t "Schindler’s List" – it hasn't a jot of spiritual uplift, and, with some exceptions, not much humanity. Verhoeven’s having too much fun subverting as many audience expectations as possible.
I found it easy to get swept along in “Black Book.” It starts out conventionally, you think it’s going to be a more standard thriller, with standard WWII heroes and villains, but once the film’s story begins to play out, with double cross after bloody double cross, it gets quite twisted and interesting. The Dutch Resistance is shown to be as riddled with bad actors as the occupying Nazis are (to fatal effect), a Gestapo officer becomes the Jewish heroine’s sympathetic and cultured lover, and there are all sorts of other anarchic goings-on. Verhoeven’s aversion to drawing bright moral lines between either side will be off-putting to some, or even many, but I would guess to him it’s all part of the guts and glory of being alive and being human.
The character you can’t help but cheer for is the (undercover) Jewish heroine, Rachel Stein / Ellis De Vries. She’s put through every possible peril and comes up trumps. Carice Van Houten, the Dutch actress who plays her, meets every physical and other demand and makes you believe her, even when the situations are more than a little preposterous. She’s a real acting dynamo, and can shift gears as readily as the plot does. One caveat, even though I appreciate his affinity for strong female characters, Verhoeven, unsurprisingly given his track record, often takes equal pleasure in degrading them. One such scene in "Black Book" is indescribably disgusting, a sick pointless joke that really jars the film.
The usual Verhoeven trademarks are on show, technical assurance, a brisk pace, wrenching violence, sex, crotch shots, etc. Some of these things we wouldn’t mind in Topkapi - um, but with a bit more sophistication, not to mention decorum. Ahem. Let’s hope that’s possible. Since he’ll be a director for hire I hope the studio and IDT can keep the madman on his leash. <wink>
After seeing “Black Book” with its primary role given to a woman, to such engrossing effect, I’m more and more curious about who the main actress will be in Topkapi. I think Dutch-born Famke Janssen would have crawled over ground glass to get a showy part like Van Houten’s (even though crawling over ground glass was about the only thing it didn’t require). It’ll be interesting to see the dynamic between the leading lady and Pierce, whom we all like to see hold his own, and more, with a strong woman, as with Catherine in TCA. Verhoeven got a nice easy chemistry out of Van Houten and Sebastian Koch as lovers in "Black Book." It's probably the most human aspect of the film.
So typical Verhoeven but at his higher levels. Very good to hear and I'm very interested in how he'll deal with TCA 2 -- how much will he push the TCA envelope or rather how auteur will it be? I really wish this was the next film PB was working on and I hope the writers strike finally ends w/o a SAG strike taking it's place.
It's a tricky balancing act for a director with his own strong cinematic identity to take on a franchise. David Fincher was just in an article talking about how he was supposedly considered for Goldeneye but in the end the Brocs as usual wanted a more controllable journeyman. What a damn shame.
Paul Verhoeven, director of blockbusters "Robocop" and "Basic Instinct," and Mario Kassar, producer of action sagas "Rambo" and "Terminator," yesterday visited Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay to discuss films they plan to shoot in Turkey.
Günay, who received Verhoeven and Kassar in his office at the ministry, said Turkey's historical wealth and geography were of great significance for the cinema sector and his ministry would provide the necessary facilitations to speed up investments in the sector in Turkey. "Turkish filmmakers have received awards in international festivals in the past few years. As the Culture and Tourism Ministry, we are taking steps to attract foreign film directors and producers to shoot films and make investments in the filmmaking sector in Turkey," Günay noted.
Verhoeven, stressing that he had visited Turkey several times before, said historical sites in Turkey were great locations for filming. "We have a plan to shoot a film ... in which the title role will be played by Pierce Brosnan. We plan to shoot an overwhelming majority of this film in the Topkapı Palace. There are so many beautiful places in Turkey. Why shouldn't we shoot our films here?" he asked.
Verhoeven was speaking about "The Thomas Crown Affair 2," which is currently in pre-production phase with a planned release date set for 2009. The film follows billionaire playboy/art thief Thomas Crown (Brosnan) embarking on a new endeavor to steal the famous Kaşıkçı Diamond from the Topkapı Palace, where it is on display. Also known as "The Topkapı Affair," the film is based on "Crown" author Eric Ambler's 1962 novel "The Light of Day."
Kassar also expressed a desire to film in Turkey, noting that he had used Romania, the Czech Republic and the UK as film sets, but that support was necessary to do so.
The Greatest is aiming for a Summer (June) start and probably won't take more than 8-10 weeks to film, if that. TCA2 has been scheduled for Fall shooting for some time and wouldn't conflict. But it's all all up in the air with the threat of an actor's strike - as is all of Hollywood..
I didn't mind the sidekick that much. Personally, I'd be more worried about aliens and UFOs if we went down that path.
Can you imagine if the precious dagger Crown wants to steal is, in fact, an artefact left behind by an alien civilization? And they need his help to retrieve it because otherwise the stranded aliens can't get back. Someplace back. Crown steals the dagger, avoids the police, and hands the artefact to the grateful aliens. Hugs and tears all around. The beautiful alieness posing as the insurance investigator (museum official?) stays behind to spend the rest of her life with Tommy. Tears all around.
Or maybe they need Crown to retrieve the artefact for them so they cound conquer our planet. As unsuspecting Crown helps them, they grab the item and reveal their (rather cute) mugs a la Mangalores from "The Fifth Element." Enraged Crown shows everybody that one should never cross an investment banker. I'm afraid in this scenario the beautiful female lead should look like like Chris Tucker.
But then unlike earlier Indy episodes Crown didn't steal anything as unworldly as The Ark, so the alien thing just didn't seem as out there as anything else Indy found. I had more problems with the too large and therefore unfleshed out characters and relationships, and the sometimes too cheesy/goofy tone. Still I enjoyed it and it was far more pleasant to watch than Temple of Doom.