Home Entertainment Paul Verhoeven is a naughty boy, with his upcoming take on a Jesus film

Paul Verhoeven is a naughty boy, with his upcoming take on a Jesus film

2 min read

When is the last time that we had a movie director really stir the public up? Roman Polanski has dodged the extradition bullet, while other directors have had to endure a wave of criticism when addressing the religous icon that is Jesus Christ with anything less than respect, in their movies.

And now, Paul Verhoeven, the man behind such films as Robocop, Starship Troopers and Total Recall, is bringing a certain book that he helped write regarding the messiah and his miracles, to the big screen.

Back in 2006, Verhoeven, alongside Susan Massotty and Rob Van Scheers , wrote a book on the icon, and put forth the idea that while the man may have existed, his miracles were all pure fiction.

Of course, a crap-storm or two did erupt over that specific work, but it looks like Verhoeven is going to stir the pot once more, when he converts that work into a film, according to Deadline.

Alongside Roger “Pulp Fiction” Avary, Verhoeven have begun writing the film script, which will be shot far, far away from the United States. As Verhoeven himself explained it, way back in 2006 already:

Essentially it is about Jesus the human being. That’s a big step isn’t it? To see him only as a human being, and it’s as historical as possible. It really goes into the politics of the time and tries to show a lot of things that have been buried and eliminated by Christianity.

My scriptwriter told me not to do the movie in the United States because they might shoot me. So I took his advice and decided to write a book about it first.

I was interested in Black Magic and the Occult and then started to be interested in miracles. My view was always, ‘Well this is impossible, in fact it’s self-contradictory.’ So I became interested in the historical facts: what time did he get up and so on.

I feel like Hercule Poirot investigating Jesus!

Bible movies seem to be fashionable once again, with numerous directors tackling different books. Darren Aronofsky has Russel Crowe lined up for his Noah flick, Ridley Scott is busy getting a movie based on the book of Exodus in production, while Steven Spielberg himself is preparing to part the oceans once more with a project based on Moses.

Last Updated: June 20, 2012


  1. Gavin Mannion

    June 20, 2012 at 15:18

    I’d pay to watch this.. and then pay double to watch the religious explosion afterwards


    • Christo Kruger

      June 20, 2012 at 15:28

      Same here. Love Verhoeven and that is such an interesting premise.


  2. James Francis

    June 20, 2012 at 15:31

    Should be interesting – Verhoeven has a lot to say on the topic. There are even intentional Christ metaphors in Robocop.


  3. Justin Hess

    June 20, 2012 at 17:59

    I’ve no idea why taking Jesus’ miracles out of the story would make for such a ruckus.

    Sorry to introduce the topic of religion on a site that isn’t dedicated as such, but it’s absurd that people would make such a big deal over it. He didn’t come here to do magic tricks, he came here to teach humanity how to live and treat one another.

    Being so obsessed with Jesus’ miracles misses the point completely and reduces the guy to a Vegas showman, someone who is worth little more than an entertaining rabbit out of the hat trick and it does the idea of him more of a disservice than telling a story that is more true to reality


    • Christo Kruger

      June 21, 2012 at 08:51

      Are you expecting logic and rational thinking from religious fundamentalists? Don’t.


    • Gavin Mannion

      June 21, 2012 at 10:03

      I’m guessing the movie is going to strongly imply that Jesus was nothing more than a con-artist and not that he was placed here to teach people humanity.. 


      • James Francis

        June 21, 2012 at 12:19

        Well, not a con artist. Verhoeven appears to respect Jesus too much for that. But he is probably trying to put a proper historical context to it. If Jesus did indeed exist as a person – and was smart enough to play on the mood of the era, like any smart revolutionary would – it would make one hell of a story. 

        There is a lot of extra history around the period that the Bible does not cover, including the Romans razing of a village near Jesus’ childhood home. The Bible actually says very little about the Roman brutality of the era and the larger political machinations of the world. For example, Augustus – the first true Roman emperor and arguably the biggest political force of the past century (even surpassing Caesar) – gets a passing mention as part of a census. 

        That’s like telling the story of Gandhi and forgetting to talk about the British Empire…


    • Kervyn Cloete

      June 21, 2012 at 11:10

      “…than telling a story that is more true to reality”

      That’s the (pardon the pun) crux of the matter right there. Because to Christians, the miracles are part of the reality. To them Jesus is the son of God first, a man second. By removing his divine powers, you diminish his divinity, which is a big no-no.


      • Justin Hess

        June 21, 2012 at 16:47

        I could agree with that. It still seems absurd to me though in that it misses the salient point. You’re so willing to defend the myth of him doing magic tricks yet so little of his actual lessons are taken to heart.

        The point of Superman, to use an analogy, is that even if he does have powers, his heroism does not stem from them, but from a far deeper place. Yes, we recognise and are attracted to the character because of that, but what makes him matter lies far deeper than that


  4. Wtf101

    June 21, 2012 at 14:30

    The fact that Paul Verhoeven still has a career making movies is in itself a miracle…


    • Justin Hess

      June 21, 2012 at 16:43

      Why? He’s a very good director. His films are arguably flawed but most of them (even shit like Basic Instinct) are still enormously watchable. 

      They’re never dull, which is more than you can say for many mainstream directors working today.
      Unless what you meant was that his films are so offensive to the mainstream that his still having a career is what is miraculous 


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