Verhoeven taps ‘Source’

Pic based on short story by Guy de Maupassant

CANNES — Paul Verhoeven will return to Europe for $30 million “The Source,” a new project to be produced by Alan Marshall and Jeremy Thomas.

Pic, based on a short story by Guy de Maupassant, was developed by Verhoeven with Endemol’s Joop Van Ende. The script was written by Julie Talen, Gerard Soeteman — a longtime Verhoeven collaborator — and the director himself.

It will be the fifth Verhoeven pic produced by Marshall.

An ensemble cast is currently being put together, and “there are five wonderful roles,” Thomas said. Locations have been scouted in France and Italy. Financing is not yet in place but Thomas is hoping the pic will begin shooting next spring, and maintains he can pull the money together.

“Because we are independent filmmakers, a film like this can exist as a major film in the indie community,” he said.

“The Source” is based on Maupassant’s “Mont Oriol,” a story of love and betrayal in a spa town where it is fashionable to “take the waters.” The action takes place in 1882.

Thomas told Daily Variety: “It is a very attractive story, with an amusing script that involves morality, aristocracy and the relationship between the rich and the poor.”

Thomas’s Recorded Picture Co. will also produce the $6.4 million “Young Adam,” starring Ewan McGregor and written and directed by first-time helmer David McKenzie. Story, based on novel by Scottish beat writer Alexander Trocchi, is a “moody and atmospheric piece set on the canals between Glasgow and Edinburgh” inspired by the Hollywood film noir pics of the ’40s. McGregor plays Joe, a rootless young drifter hired to work on a barge.

Recorded Picture Co. is also producing the Coen brothers’ $50 million-$60 million “To the White Sea,” starring Brad Pitt, and Terry Gilliam’s fantasy pic “Tideland,” adapted from Mitch Cullin’s cult novel.