Switching things up from the recent European period pieces that Paul Verhoeven has attached his name to (the already-released Black Book and the upcoming Azazel), the director is heading stateside again. Filmstaker has word that the director of hits like RoboCop and Basic Instinct (and somehow-beloved flops like Showgirls) is going to helm a new project called The Paperboy. (They got the news from Teletext.co.uk, but the source report is "no longer available.") The project will be an adaptation of Pete Dexter's book from the '90s.

The story focuses on a young man named Jack who is a college dropout working for his dad's Moat County Tribune paper in Florida. His older brother Ward, who reports for the Miami Times, comes to town with partner Yardley Acheman to look into the 4-year-old murder of the town sheriff, and Jack helps them out. After Ward gets badly beaten by a few sailors, his partner fabricates evidence to finish the story and brings further trouble to the brothers. According to Publishers Weekly, it's a "story line so complicated that it loses focus and then almost peters out." That being said, it's got some potential -- Dexter wrote Deadwood, the book that the popular television series was based on. (Not to mention Paris Trout, which was helmed by Gyllenhaal papa Stephen.) And the writer has some screenplays under his belt -- from the ick-angelic Michael to The Devil and Daniel Webster -- so there's a chance he'll pen this adaptation. Yeah ... just about anything is possible for this project.