Paul Verhoeven Knocks Hollywood for Lack of ‘Provocative’ Movies

“If you say it has to be PG-13, there are a lot of things you cannot do,” the Dutch filmmaker says

Last Updated: November 15, 2016 @ 12:18 PM

“Elle” director Paul Verhoeven complained Sunday that Hollywood doesn’t make “challenging” movies that are “sexual,” “erotic” or “provocative” anymore.

The filmmaker, whose credits include “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls,” added that Hollywood studios are making mostly PG-13 movies now.

“If you say it has to be PG-13, there are a lot of things you cannot do. You cannot be provocative, you cannot be controversial, you cannot be sexual, erotic, in a direct way,” he told AFP at the Los Angeles-based AFI Fest.

“It all has to be suggestive, elliptic and whatever,” he added. “And so then the movies become neutral and the movies are not challenging you in any way.”

His newest film, “Elle,” which stars Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte and Anne Consigny, features sex and violence as the film’s main character embarks on a dangerous journey to find the man who raped her.

Verhoeven also revealed that he originally intended to make “Elle” in Hollywood, but several American actresses turned down the role because they feared it was too controversial. He then relocated to France for production. “Elle” has been selected as France’s Foreign Language entry for the 2017 Oscars.

“There’s no problem in France. As a director you can do what you want,” the Dutch filmmaker told AFP. “I escaped to France because I couldn’t find anything that was for me challenging. Why bother, you know?”

A representative for Verhoeven has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.