Dutch director Paul Verhoeven has postponed the filming ofhis new thriller Blackbook (Zwartboek).Shooting should have started this week, but the 66 year old director recently underwenta heart operation and will be recuperating for at least a couple of weeks.

Producer San Fu Maltha has rescheduled shooting of the filmfor April 2005, when the cast and crew will be re-assembled. Maltha deniesrumours about financial problems connected to the film which had been suggested by the Dutch media.The budget of nearly Euros 10m has been assured, Maltha confirmed.

Blackbook will beVerhoeven's first film after 2000 Hollywood title Hollow Man and his first Dutch film for 21 years. The story hasbeen written by long time companion Gerard Soeteman and tells about a Jewish girlwho infiltrates with the Germans during the last year of WW II.

Verhoeven has been working on the film for about thirtyyears. The cast includes famous Dutch actors as Carice van Houten, HalinaReijn, Thom Hoffman and Gijs Scholten van Aschat. The project has been alreadybeen sold to ten territories. It is the first time a Dutch-language feature hasgenerated so much interest before shooting.

It remains unclear how this will affect another Verhoevenproject Beast Of Bataan, whichVerhoeven had scheduled to shoot in a couple of moths. The low- budget filmtells of the Japanese WW II criminal Masaharu Homma, who was responsible forthe Bataan death march through the Philippines when thousands of US soldiersdied of starvation and tropical diseases.

Blackbook has beenre-scheduled for a late 2005 release.