NOTE: This is not news of Paul Verhoeven (Starship Troopers, Basic Instinct, Total Recall) being hired to take over the directing reigns of the upcoming Bruce Willis sci-fi actioner Surrogates. Rather this is news about Verhoeven’s next movie, which is an adaptation of a book called The Surrogate.

Again – The Surrogate, singular, not plural.

Verhoeven will direct The Surrogate for 20th Century Fox. It’s a contemporary thriller which is based on a 2004 novel by Kathryn Mackel. To put the overall story of the book quite simply, it’s about a couple who discover that the young college girl they have hired to carry their baby is insane. Yeah… that would be a bit of a problem. For a better feel of the story, here’s the official description from the novel:

“Kyle and Bethany Dolan reel from years of infertility, miscarriages, and finally, a disastrous hysterectomy. They are desperate to find the perfect surrogate mother to carry their last frozen embryo. Sable Lynde, a computer genius with a dark history, is desperate to escape her own inner demons, her dark past, and a dangerous loan shark. Sable assumes the identity of a surrogacy candidate so perfect that the Dolans welcome her into their family without reservation. As the pregnancy progresses, the dangers of Sable’s deception escalate until the unthinkable happens-Sable’s dark demons spill out into the Dolans’ lives-even as she lies in a coma. A thrill-ride of suspense and terror, this novel leads readers to a breathtaking climax. Engaging characters, contemporary issues, and deep questions of faith make this story an unforgettable read.”

Verhoeven last helmed the Dutch-language WWII drama-thriller Black Book back in 2006, but he will be back stateside to direct The Surrogate. The film was originally at Fox Atomic, but has moved over to 20th Century Fox when Atomic was shut down. Debbie Liebling, who ran Atomic, will still oversee the movie for Fox. The original draft of the script was written by Roderick and Bruce Taylor (The Brave One), but presumably it won’t be the final draft.

I am not familiar with The Surrogate novel, but from the above description it certainly sounds like an interesting story. In a very Stephen King way, it seems like it mixes real-life issues with affective horror and terror. Here’s hoping Verhoeven can capture that on the big-screen. I am a fan of his work, with Starship Troopers and Total Recall standing out particularly for me.

Let’s not hold Showgirls against him too much…

Do you like the sound of The Surrogate? Are you a fan of Paul Verhoeven, and if so which is your favorite movie his?

Sources: /Film and THR