Can You Handle Hype Williams’ ‘Lust?’

The director of Belly accepts the director's chair for the next erotic thriller from Joe Eszterhas.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

It's been several months since we last heard from Lust, the new erotic thriller from Joe "I Write Erotic Thrilers" Eszterhas, who also brought us Basic Instinct, Sliver and Jade, movies which captured the public (pubic?) imagination in the 1990s despite two of them not being particularly good (and despite Jade not actually making that much money). Well, it's time for a big update today. Director Hype Williams has signed on to direct Lust, making the film his sophomore feature after the gang-drama-action-movie-music-video-thing that was 1998's Belly. That's a gap of 13 years, by the way, although he's certainly been a busy music video director in all that time.

Obviously the question at hand is whether we can trust the hype. (We'll pause briefly for laughter.) Certainly Hype Williams' music video credentials are impressive, with letters of recommendation from the likes of LL Cool J, Kanye West, Christina Aguilera and (of course) the teenaged Russian lesbian duo t.A.T.u. But his only feature film to date has been Belly, and that was (again) 13 years ago… and a bit of a mess. An ambitious mess, we'll grant you, but also a gratuitous orgy of music video cliches mish-mashed awkwardly with high drama.

Not that we expect the latest Joe Eszterhas sex-fest to be a work of intense subtlety, but our concern is that it holds an air of plausibility. There's certainly a way to overdo, as Variety describes it in the announcement, a story that "centers on a 30-year-old woman married to an older Miami-based magazine publisher. The woman is seduced by a younger, charming playboy — who secretly videotapes himself and his new lover having sex, leading to the woman's life unraveling."

CRAVE Online will be back with more Lust-ful news after we finish this tray of oysters.