EXCLUSIVE: In a deal that puts him back into that saucy Basic Instinct territory, Paul Verhoeven has made a deal to direct Eternal, a supernatural thriller that is Fatal Attraction — with a succubus temptress. The film was developed by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment from a pitch by David Loughery (Obsessed), who wrote the script. Verhoeven comes aboard along with Richard D’Ovidio (Exit Wounds), who’ll do a rewrite. Eternal shapes up as a possible next project for Verhoeven, with production targeted for next summer. In Eternal, a married recovering alcoholic helps a woman threatening to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. They end up in bed, and in a torrid sexual affair. When he gets home, he’s confronted by his wife and a private investigator, with photos spread across a table. He thinks he’s busted, but the photos that should have shown him in the clinches with his mistress instead show him alone, drinking alcohol. He initially questions his own sanity, but progressively figures out that this temptress is a ghost who is after his soul. The picture will be produced by Kimmel, Greene Street Films’ John Penotti, A Bigger Boat’s Peter Block and Sparkler Entertainment’s Charles Segars.
Under new production head Matt Berenson, the reconfigured SKE intends to finance and produce generate 3 to 5 pictures per year with budgets ranging from $10 million to $25 million. ICM repped Verhoeven and the writers.