Only days after he came out chatting about Eastern Promises 2, David Cronenberg has been talking up his first super-sized blockbuster project, a $150m adaptation of The Matarese Circle, the Robert Ludlum novel, which will star Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington.
During an interview with the Toronto Star, made as he received the Légion d’Honneur,an honour he seemed genuinely surprised about. He noted he has had a good relationship with France in the past while the writer cites his prize-winning in Cannes in 1996 for Crash and his serving as jury president at the festival in 1999.
As regards The Matarese Circle though, Cronenberg said he had gained the support of both Cruise and Washington for the project, adding they were “waiting to read my script”.
Describing his attraction to the project, he said:
“I think when you get too comfortable, you need to scare yourself by trying something you’ve never done before… It comes from the same place as wanting to direct an opera, or write a novel, or curate an Andy Warhol art exhibit… It’s not easy to keep all the satisfying elements people expect and still find a way to subvert the genre and surprise the audience”
Cronenberg also has a potential opera project, following from his successful staging of The Fly in France last year, and a novel to work on, not to mention Eastern Promises 2.
Should be interesting to see him try and make something palatable for a mainstream audience. A History of Violence and Eastern Promises are probably about as accessible as he’s ever done, although both still contain moments of exploring that same vein of body horror he’s continuously come back to in the past.
Maybe it will just be a thrill to see a great, talented director take on a mainstream work not for the subversiveness of it, but more for his ability to subtely bring something new and interesting to the wider palate of filmmaking.