David Cronenberg Directing Robert Ludlum's Matarese Circle
by Alex Billington
October 7, 2008
Filmmaker David Cronenberg has lined up his next project - an adaptation of Robert Ludlum's political thriller The Matarese Circle. Denzel Washington is already attached to play CIA frontrunner Bradley Scofield in the film. The book, first published in 1979, follows two rival agents from the CIA and KGB who find themselves working together to ferret out and vanquish members of a mysterious group of criminals called the Matarese that has infiltrated the highest levels of American government. The two writers behind 3:10 to Yuma and Wanted, named Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, have written the adaptation with power producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura attached to produce alongside Nick Wechsler and Jeffrey M. Weiner.
Only two rival spies—and one mysterious woman—can stop them: Scofield, CIA, and Talaniekov, KGB. They share a genius for espionage—and a life of terror and explosive violence. Sworn enemies, they have vowed to terminate each other—yet now they must become allies. Because only they possess the brutal skills and ice-cold nerves vital to destroy an international circle of killers, the Matarese.
Up to this point, everything about The Matarese Circle project seemed great - the screenwriters have delivered some solid films, Denzel Washington continues to impress us, and the story sounded like a competent modern thriller. David Cronenberg not only seems like an odd fit for this, but I've been nurturing my dissatisfaction with him after his two most recent feature films - Eastern Promises and A History of Violence. I really didn't like either of them and I feel like he just doesn't have the same directing talent that he used to. Plus I'm sure giving him a huge budget and the reins to a political thriller isn't going to make all the difference. I definitely hope I'm wrong this time, although I don't think I will be.