David Cronenberg decamps to Athens to commit some Crimes of the Future
by David Katz
- The arthouse and horror legend, long thought to have retired, returns for his first feature in eight years, a Greece-set sci-fi noir starring Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart
UPDATE (3 May 2021): A full cast has been announced for the film, including Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux (lining up yet another project with highly-regarded auteur, as she's soon to be seen in The French Dispatch [+see also:
film profile], The Story of My Wife and France), Kristen Stewart (likewise, as she's soon to be seen in Pablo Larraín's Spencer), Scott Speedman, Welket Bungué (Berlin Alexanderplatz [+see also:
interview: Burhan Qurbani
film profile]), Don McKellar and Lihi Kornowski. US distributor Neon is backing the project.
Long live the old flesh! Canadian master David Cronenberg is gearing up to shoot his long-awaited 22nd feature, with the working title Crimes of the Future - incidentally also the name of an early, tiny-budgeted 1970 film of his. It will not be a direct remake, however. Viggo Mortensen, who collaborated with the filmmaker on A History of Violence, Eastern Promises [+see also:
film profile] and A Dangerous Method [+see also:
interview: The team of A Dangerous Met…
film profile], will take on one of the lead roles.
Announced initially as a co-production between Canada and Greece (although other participating countries could soon be confirmed), the film will shoot mainly around Athens from August to early September 2021, taking in locations such as the Iris Film Theatre, the Arcade of Anatolia and the harbour of Piraeus in the Attica region. Greece has a co-production treaty with Canada, and offers cash rebate and tax relief to international productions.
The original 1970 film followed the director of a dermatological clinic named Adrian Tripod, searching for his mad scientific mentor, Antoine Rouge. Rouge disappeared following the outbreak of a plague resulting from cosmetic products, which grew to claim the lives of all adult women. The script for the new film was written “a long time ago,” as Mortensen stated in an interview, “now he’s refined it and wants to shoot it.”
Mortensen went on to say, “He’s going maybe a little bit back to his origins. […] It’s almost like a strange film noir story. It’s disturbing and it’s good, I think. But since his origins, he’s obviously developed in terms of technique and self-assurance as a director.”
Argonauts Productions will be the Greek co-producer and production service company for the shoot. Robert Lantos, for Canada’s Serendipity Point, will also produce, and said, “Athens is the perfect setting for Crimes Of The Future, as it is bespoke tailoring for David Cronenberg’s unique vision of a future which intermingles with the past.”
Cronenberg himself has taken a long career pause since his last feature, 2014’s Maps to the Stars [+see also:
film profile], which premiered at Cannes and won the Best Actress award for Julianne Moore. In 2014, he also published his first novel, the macabre tech-horror tale Consumed, which he later attempted to adapt into a film or series, but the project fell through. He also took small acting roles in Star Trek: Discovery and in Mortensen’s recent directorial debut Falling [+see also:
film profile], whilst his son Brandon Cronenberg got his career moving again last year with Possessor [+see also:
film profile], an ultra-violent thriller that premiered at Sundance.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.