By the director’s own admission, Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop is, in its heart of cyborg hearts, “a Christ story”—the tale of an “American Jesus” died and resurrected. These comments reveal the Dutch director’s longstanding scholarly interest in the life of the non-American Jesus, whose story he may be bringing to big screen. According to Indiewire, funding for the director’s Jesus movie is now falling into place, with The Rules Of Attraction writer Roger Avary hired to write the script.
On paper, the idea of the guy behind Basic Instinct and Showgirls working on a movie about Jesus may seem off, an attempt for studios to keep pace with big-budget productions about Noah and the life of Moses. But Verhoeven has always had a keen interest in the Christian figurehead, serving as a member of the Jesus Seminar—a group of scholars and Christ buffs who use colored beads to vote on the historical factuality of deeds of Jesus of Nazareth. He even published his own pseudo-scholarly text on the subject, 2008’s Jesus Of Nazareth, and has long expressed interest in making a movie on the subject. But don’t expect a piece of explicitly Christian crucifixploitation like Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ. (Or, alternately, do see all that stuff, in Verhoeven's own Dutch thriller, The Fourth Man, which is laced with perversely sexualized Christian imagery.)
In keeping with his book’s secular bend, Verhoeven’s Jesus movie will cast the famous Nazarene as a shit-stirring prophet, stripping away all that miracle-working and returning from the dead stuff. As Verhoeven writes in the first pages of Jesus Of Nazareth: “I picture [Jesus’] travels more like the camping trips my friends and I used to go on when we were teenagers. Being crammed into a tent with your buddies has its drawbacks…Jesus’ companions must have heard him snore, snuffle, and fart.” So expect, also, the fartingest depiction of the King of Kings ever seen on the big screen.