Following Black Book, his extraordinary World War II spy drama from 2007, the Amsterdam-born director Paul Verhoeven has been laying low. With the exception of the experimental micro-drama Tricked, which was built on crowdsourced story ideas and received a limited release earlier this year, Verhoeven has only seen a handful of ideas dissipate in pre-production, which is particularly strange considering the critical praise that came with Black Book.
Well, this fall will finally bring the brilliant, subversive filmmaker back into the fold with the release of Elle, his controversial dramatic thriller that was met with divisive criticism upon its premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film is also set to have screenings at Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival. The story, which focuses on the aftermath of a violent assault on the titular powerful boss, played by Isabelle Huppert, at a video game company, edges closer to the dark humor and rich drama of Black Book than the ecstatic political satires that were Starship Troopers, Hollow Man, and Total Recall. There’s also some similarities to the sexual intrigue of Basic Instinct, Verhoeven’s major Hollywood breakthrough, written by Joe Eszterhaus.
The newest trailer for the film, which doesn’t reveal much more about the plot behind a vague schematic, can be found right below. Elle will be released by Sony Pictures Classics on November 11th.
Here’s the new trailer for Elle:
Here’s the official synopsis for Elle:
Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game-a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.