'Benedetta' Trailer: Paul Verhoeven Returns With An Erotic Lesbian Nun Drama

The Cannes Film Festival announced that the new Paul Verhoeven film, Benedetta, will premiere at their 2021 festival, a year after it was supposed to initially premiere. It will be the Dutch director's first film since 2016's Elle, and it's a whopper: an erotic lesbian nun drama. Watch the Benedetta trailer below.

Benedetta Trailer

Whenever Verhoeven — the director of such films as RobocopBasic Instinct, and Starship Troopers — comes back on the scene, he comes back with a vengeance. And Benedetta was set up to be that glorious return for Verhoeven: an erotic nun romance that was tapped to premiere at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. But alas, the pandemic canceled the event and we were deprived of sexy nuns for another year. But finally, Benedetta is confirmed to make its world premiere in competition at the upcoming 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

French distributor Pathé has released the official trailer for Verhoeven's long-awaited erotic lesbian nun movie, which seems to follow the footsteps of the filmmakers previous psychosexual dramas like Basic Instinct and Elle.

The film stars Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling, Daphné Patakia, and Lambert Wilson, and is based on a book by Judith C. Brown, which itself was based on a true story. It follows a 15th-century nun named Benedetta who suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions, and embarks on a torrid love affair with her companion. All the while, Benedetta is besieged from all sides by doubters and non-believers, who wish to put her on trial for blasphemy.

Verhoeven had originally tapped his frequent collaborator Gerard Soeteman to adapt the book after Soeteman wrote the scripts for eight Verhoeven films, including Turkish Delight and Black Book, but Soeteman distanced himself from the project because of its intense focus on sexuality. Which already says a lot: if Benedetta is too much for one of Verhoeven's longest collaborators, then it must be truly over the top.

If the trailer wasn't enough to preview the film's erotic tone, check out the NSFW poster released by Cannes. Don't click on that in a public place.

Here's the synopsis for Benedetta:

In the late 15th century, with plague ravaging the land, Benedetta Carlini joins the convent in Pescia, Tuscany, as a novice. Capable from an early age of performing miracles, Benedetta's impact on life in the community is immediate and momentous.

Benedetta will debut at the the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, which runs July 6 through July 17, and in French cinemas on July 9, 2021.