David Cronenberg Talks About His Plans for The Matarese Circle
David Cronenberg, usually of a more experimental, subversive mind (e.g. The Fly, Videodrome, Scanners) is set to tackle a project completely atypical of everything he's done to date. The film, The Matarese Circle, is an action thriller set to star Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington as two rival secret agents who are paired to find a group of killers known as the Matarese. Cronenberg will not only be directing, but writing as well. The script, based on Robert Ludlum's novel, was written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, but Cronenberg is doing a rewrite after both stars were unsatisfied with the first pass.
As for why he specifically decided to take on this particular project with Cruise and Washington in the starring roles, Cronenberg had this to say in a recent interview with the Toronto Star:
"I think when you get too comfortable, you need to scare yourself by trying something you've never done before … I've spoken to both Tom and Denzel, and they both want to do it… Usually when I write, I don't visualize the characters, because I want them to have a life of their own, but in this case I am writing it specifically for these two actors. Tom and I get along very well. I was at his house in LA a couple of weeks ago, and he's very excited."
Cronenberg also says that he's feeling the studio pressure, as they're waiting on his script and that, "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." It should be no surprise that even though Cronenberg is set to helm a multi-million dollar actioner for MGM, he'll still be looking to subvert all of our expectations. With the previously reported requirement of shooting on location in a total of six countries, this looks to be shaping up to have all of the ingredients for a very special film. Stay tuned for more updates and pick up the book in the meantime.