EXCLUSIVE: Paul Verhoeven Still Working On ‘The Surrogate,’ Has ‘Discussed It All’ With Halle Berry

Almost a year ago now we heard news that Paul Verhoeven, for his next film, would be tackling an adaptation of Kathryn Mackel’s 2004 novel, “The Surrogate.” Mere days later, it came out that Halle Berry was interested in joining that adaptation. MTV’s Josh Horowitz spoke to the filmmaker recently when he stopped by to promote his new book, “Jesus of Nazareth,” and learned that “The Surrogate” is still a project that is very much alive.

“That’s still in the works,” Verhoeven said. “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.”

Mackel’s book follows a childless couple who come to consider the possibility of getting a surrogate mother to have their child. Unfortunately, the surrogate they end up settling on has a dark past, and is quite insane. In other words: perfect Verhoeven territory.

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.