‘Basic Instinct’ Director Paul Verhoeven Follows ‘Elle’ With Movie About Lesbian Nun

Virginie Efira will play a 17th-century nun who has a lesbian affair with another nun in “Blessed Virgin”

Paul Verhoeven

Paul Verhoeven is set to make a second French-language film, following last year’s “Elle,” which garnered an Academy Award nomination for its star, Isabelle Huppert.

The Dutch director, best known for “Basic Instinct” and “Total Recall,” is set to re-team with “Elle” producer Saïd Ben Saïd on “Blessed Virgin,” a film centered on Sister Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century nun who suffers from disturbing and erotic visions that lead to a lesbian affair with another nun.

Belgian actress Virginie Efira, who starred in “Elle,” will play Carlini.

The project was announced late Tuesday night in a tweet by Saïd.

“Blessed Virgin” is adapted from historian Judith C. Brown’s 1986 book, “Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy,” which was written based on archival documents detailing the true account of the rise and fall of Carlini.

Gerard Soeteman, who co-wrote Verhoeven’s wartime thriller “Black Book,” is penning the adaptation, with shooting set to begin soon.

SBS Distribution will present the new project to buyers at the Cannes Film Market in May.

“Elle” premiered in competition at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. It went on to win Golden Globes for Huppert and best foreign language film.