A bit more casting to pass on before the night ends:
- Margot Robbie is nearly set to sign on for the female lead in Focus opposite Will Smith. They plan con artists in Glenn Ficarra and John Requa‘s follow-up to Crazy, Stupid, Love.
- David Cronenberg cast Emilia McCarthy, Jayne Heitmeyer, and Justin Kelly in his next feature, Maps to the Stars. Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Olivia Williams and Sarah Gadon also star.
HIt the jump for more on both projects.
To quote Nelson Muntz, “I can think of two things wrong with that title.”
The notion of an unfilmable novel is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. You can film anything. You might film it badly, but you can film it. David Cronenberg proved that in 1991 when he adapted William S. Burrough’s novel Naked Lunch for the big screen. Good or bad doesn’t quite enter into it – to dive into Burroughs is to experience madness in its purest form – but if anything could defy adaptation, that book would be it. And if any director could find a way to crack its code, it would be Cronenberg. Hit the jump for my review of Naked Lunch on Blu-ray.
The cast is finally coming together for director David Cronenberg’s next film. Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson has long been attached to appear in Maps to the Stars, and now THR reports that Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method) are set to round out the cast. Written by Bruce Wagner (Wild Palms), the film is described as a ghost story that “offers a critique of celebrity-obsessed society in Los Angeles,” the latter of which is quite a popular topic in film culture at the moment with Sofia Coppola’s similarly-themed film The Bling Ring set to hit theaters this summer.
There’s no word on the characters that the aforementioned actors will play, but production is set to begin in July in Toronto and Los Angeles with Entertainment One Films onboard to finance and distribute the indie. Cronenberg previously stated that he was hoping to nab Viggo Mortensen to star in Maps to the Stars as well, but one assumes Cusack ended up taking that role instead.
Director David Cronenberg occasionally steps out in front of the camera, and he has 26 acting credits including roles in Jason X and The Stupids. According to Yahoo! Movies, he’ll be working with slightly more elevated material by joining the adaptation of Don DeLillo‘s Body Art. Directed by Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love), Isabelle Huppert stars as “an actress/performer of sorts grieving over a lost lover who encounters a mysterious stranger living in her house (all of which may or may not be literally happening).” The film also stars Denis Lavant, who wowed audiences with his excellent performance(s) in Holy Motors.
This is the second pairing of Cronenberg and DeLillo. Cronenberg’s most recent film was an adaptation of DeLillo’s 2003 novel, Cosmopolis. It looks like Cronenberg’s next directing project will be Maps to the Stars, especially since Eastern Promises 2 and a remake of The Fly are now kaput.
There’s no denying that director David Cronenberg is a wholly original filmmaker, but his signature style doesn’t always translate to box office success. As such, it came as quite a pleasant surprise recently when the director was interested in making both a sequel to his 2007 crime drama Eastern Promises and a remake of his seminal 1986 sci-fi classic The Fly. Just as both projects seemed to be on track, Cronenberg abruptly broke the news that neither was going to happen because the respective studios decided they weren’t interested in making the films. Though Eastern Promises 2 and Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly may never come to fruition, the filmmaker recently provided a few details regarding what we would have seen if the projects had made it to production. Hit the jump for more.
I’ve been doing this long enough to know that I can easily be wrong about a project, especially when it’s in its nascent stages. So much changes over the course of production, and sometimes a logline can’t do a premise justice. But I can’t wrap my mind around anyone remaking Videodrome. And yet, today Deadline reports that Adam Berg, who has directed popular commercials, is on board to helm a remake of David Cronenberg‘s classic film. Ehren Kruger, who’s been attached to the project since 2009 and is the screenwriter behind such masterpieces as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Reindeer Games, scripted the remake.
For those unfamiliar with the original film, it’s about a TV executive looking for the sleaziest possible content for his channel, Civic TV, and comes across the disturbing show “Videodrome”, which causes him to have disturbing hallucinations. According to Deadline, Berg and Kruger plan to “modernize the concept, infusing it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.” Hit the jump for my reaction.
This weekend’s release of ParaNorman will afford me the rare opportunity to share an afternoon in the theater with two of my nephews, ages 8 and 10. Granted, they’re a little disappointed that we’re not checking it out in 3D, but I just can’t bring myself to foster any sort of affinity for the technology in their young and impressionable minds. The last movie we watched in theaters together was 2009′s Up and it was an experience that I’ll never forget as its brilliant opening sequence brought tears to both of their eyes at the ripe ages of 5 and 7. It was a glowing example of the cinema’s ability to touch young and old alike and while ParaNorman will likely be unable to touch that moment, I’m looking forward to it a ton nonetheless.
My weekend plans aside, in a three-fifths ode to our action heroes of yesteryear, this week’s Top 5 includes video interviews with the cast of The Expendables 2, video interviews with the cast and directors of ParaNorman, the first poster and trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, David Cronenberg vs. the superhero genre, and the first trailer for Sly Stallone and director Walter Hill‘s revenge tale, Bullet to the Head. As always, a brief recap and link to each greets you after the jump.
A frequent theme in the oeuvre of writer-director David Cronenberg is how we become alienated through the ubiquitous. We fail to notice how everyday facets of our lives are changing us on a fundamental level, and causing us to be alienated from ourselves and each other physically, mentally, and emotionally. In Videodrome, Crash, and eXistenZ, Cronenberg explored how technology warped our relationship to the world to the point where technology became organic and the organic became mechanical. In his last movie, A Dangerous Method, Cronenberg explored how psychotherapy causes people to become distanced from their emotions and psyches. In his latest film, Cosmopolis, Cronenberg turns his eye to capitalism, and has created a darkly comic, coldly calculating look at a world where everything is for sale and nothing has value. Like A Dangerous Method, Cosmopolis suffers from the lack of an emotional impact, which is the inevitable result of a story where characters have become disconnected from emotion, but the story will still leave your head spinning.
I wouldn’t say David Cronenberg‘s one of my all-time favorite directors, but he’s close. He makes fascinating, disturbing movies that shock audiences not for shock value, but to force them to consider complicated ideas. While I think his movies are worth seeking out (look for my review of his latest film, Cosmopolis, tomorrow), his recent comments probably won’t endear himself to some superhero movie fans. Speaking to NextMovie, Cronenberg says he doesn’t agree with the perception that directors like Christopher Nolan are elevating the genre.
Hit the jump for the full quote from Cronenberg and my reaction. Cosmopolis opens in limited release on Friday.
As recently as June, we posted that David Cronenberg was returning to direct Eastern Promises 2, starring Viggo Mortensen and possibly Vincent Cassel. While things looked to be moving ahead in a positive direction only a short while ago, the production has taken a turn for the worse (or better if you weren’t looking forward to the sequel). Apparently, the decision has come down from the Focus Features studio to scrap the project, even though production was scheduled to begin in October. Hit the jump to hear the explanation on the about face from Cronenberg himself.
A new trailer for David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis has gone online. The plot centers on wealthy businessman (Robert Pattinson) who loses his fortune in a single day, and this trailer does a good job of conveying that basic plotline. But as we’ve seen from previous trailers, the flick looks far stranger and unwieldy than such a simple premise. This new trailer feels like it’s trying to smooth out the edges of an insane-looking flick.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, K’Naan, and Emily Hampshire. Cosmopolis opens in limited release August 17th.
Tim Roth has signed on to star in David Cronenberg‘s developing TV series, Knifeman. Knifeman is based on Wendy Moore‘s biography about 18th century surgeon John Hunter; when the project was announced, I longed for a period piece. But Deadline says Roth will play “John Tattersall, a radical, self-educated surgeon who will go to unorthodox lengths to uncover the secrets of the human body.” So it looks like Hunter will be the inspiration, not the character. Too bad, but given the premise and Cronenberg’s involvement, Knifeman still sounds like something more than your typical medical drama. Skipping the pilot process, Media Rights Capital ordered the show straight to series and plans to shop it out to networks soon. Roth is all in on Knifeman, which means he’ll bow out as star of the drama project he was developing with Lie to Me showrunner Alex Cary—Roth will stay on as producer.
Cronenberg will direct the first episode from a script by Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights) based on a story Jones conceived with Ron Fitzgerald (Friday Night Lights). Cronenberg, Jones, and Fitzgerald will produce alongside Sam Raimi, Josh Donen, Robert Zotnowski, and Renee Tab. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Moore’s biography, The Knife Man.
It appears that the Eastern Promises sequel that’s been brewing for the last few years is finally happening. Director David Cronenberg’s 2007 crime drama was extremely well received upon release, and talk then turned to a possible sequel with star Viggo Mortensen returning. As early as last November Cronenberg was talking about the positive chances of a sequel happening, and now it appears that things are moving full-speed ahead. However, Cronenberg apparently won’t be returning as director this time. Vulture reports that not only is co-star Vincent Cassel in negotiations to return for the follow-up, but screenwriter Steven Knight will be taking over the director’s chair. Hit the jump for more.
[Update: Vulture has corrected their report to say that Cronenberg will indeed direct the sequel, not Knight]
We’ve got a couple of release date shifts to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Cosmopolis – David Cronenberg’s twisted thriller starring Robert Pattinson has been set for release on August 17th.
- Playing the Field – The Gerard Butler-fronted soccer comedy has been moved off of its Christmas release date to December 7th.
- The Words – The drama starring Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana has been moved up to September 7th.
Hit the jump for more on each film.
David Cronenberg‘s latest film, Cosmopolis, picked up some positive buzz last week when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Now the director is looking to reunite not only with that film’s star, Robert Pattinson, but with frequent collaborator Viggo Mortensen. And while we previously reported that Pattinson was looking to team up with Cronenberg for a movie set in France, apparently Cronenberg’s next movie, Maps to the Stars, will be set in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Hit the jump for more.