EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominee Charlotte Rampling is attached to join the cast of Elle and Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven’s upcoming steamy thriller Blessed Virgin, I can reveal. Rampling is being lined up for a key supporting role alongside Virginie Efira (Elle), Lambert Wilson (The Matrix Reloaded) and rising Belgian-Greek actress Daphne Patakia (Djam).
Pathé handles international sales and French distribution on the anticipated French-language drama, which reteams Elle duo Verhoeven and Belgian actress Efira. The latter stars as Benedetta Carlini, a novice nun capable of performing miracles, who joins an Italian convent in the late 17th century, as plague is ravaging the land. While at the convent she begins a love affair with another woman. Script comes from Verhoeven and his Elle co-writer David Birke.
The feature, which mixes religion and erotica, is an adaption of Judith C. Brown’s academic work Immodest Acts: The Life Of A Lesbian Nun In Renaissance Italy about controversial 17th century abbess Carlini. Said Ben Said’s SBS Productions, which produced Elle, will produce the film alongside Pathé, with shoot set to start later this year. It is the third collaboration between Verhoeven and Pathé after Showgirls and Black Book. The latter will be shopping the movie in Cannes.
45 Years star Rampling, well known for iconic 60s and 70s movies such as The Damned and The Night Porter, recently played in Fox spy thriller Red Sparrow with Jennifer Lawrence and will next be seen in Lenny Abrahamson’s upcoming chiller Little Stranger.
Verhoeven’s latest Elle garnered raves and an Oscar nomination for Isabelle Huppert who plays a successful businesswoman who gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her. The maverick Dutch director is also known for U.S. blockbusters such as Robocop and Total Recall.