"Basic Instinct" director Verhoeven to make film about lesbian nuns

"Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven

"Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven is making a film about a lesbian nun with miraculous powers who falls in love with another sister, his producers said Wednesday.

The veteran Dutch film-maker -- whose controversial twisted rape thriller "Elle" starring Isabelle Huppert was a huge critical hit -- is working on a drama called the "Blessed Virgin".

The producers said it is based on the life of 17th-century Italian nun Benedetta Carlini, who caused a sensation when she claimed to see visions of Jesus Christ.

Verhoeven will present the project at the Cannes film festival next month, production company SBS International told AFP.

Verhoeven premiered "Elle" at the festival last year. It has since won nearly 60 international awards as well as an Oscar nomination for French star Huppert.

The new film, adapted from "Immodest Acts -- The Life of a lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy" by the American historian Judith Brown, will star Belgian actress Virginie Efira.