Paul Verhoeven To Direct Thomas Crown 2

He's back in Hollywood! Yessh!

Well, the chances of The Topkapi Affair – otherwise known as The Thomas Crown Affair sequel – featuring a lady’s rude downstairs parts have just increased by eight trillion percent. Why? Because one of our favourite directors, Dutch maestro Paul Verhoeven has just signed on to direct. And he loves his ladies’ rude downstairs parts.

Verhoeven allegedly told a Dutch radio programme earlier this week that he had signed on to direct The Topkapi Affair, which will see him end a semi-self imposed exile from Hollywood, which began after the disappointing Hollow Man in 2000. Clearly, the success of last year's Dutch thriller, Black Book, reminded Hollywood execs that the master of subversive satire (RoboCop, Total Recall) and nudie perviness (Basic Instinct, Showgirls) was alive and kicking.

We say ‘allegedly’ because we picked up the story from, who picked it up from Dutch site FilmTotaal, who could have made it up, for all we know. We don’t speak Dutch, and we’ve never listened to the show in question, Met Het Oog Op Morgen (translated as either With the Eye on Tomorrow, or Can You Believe Dirk Kuyt Is A Professional Footballer?). We could, of course, make some calls to verify this story, but we’ve got a meeting in ten minutes, so…

Anyway, little else is known about the details of Verhoeven’s appointment. Pierce Brosnan, who would reprise the role of Thomas Crown that he last played in 1999, has been banging on about The Topkapi Affair – based on Jules Dassin’s 1964 heist classic, Topkapi, in which thieves try to nick a jewelled dagger from an Istanbul museum - for years now.

But, to tell you the truth, Empire had given up hope of seeing it, what with mooted director John McTiernan’s current troubles with the law.

But, with this news, we’re excited again – with Verhoeven on board, expect it to be slick, stylish and more than a little sexy. As the great man himself might say, yesh!