Tom Cruise Cast in David Cronenberg's Matarese Circle
by Alex Billington
February 11, 2009
This project has definitely bumped up a notch in terms of anticipation. Tom Cruise will be joining Denzel Washington in MGM's adaptation of Robert Ludlum's The Matarese Circle that is being directed by David Cronenberg and written by Wanted scribes Derek Haas and Michael Brandt. That means we get to see all three of them - Cruise, Washington, Cronenberg - working on a big-budget spy thriller in the vein of The Bourne Identity. Excited yet? Cruise is in final negotiations to take on the role of the Russian spy Vasili Taleniekov, mortal enemy of American CIA operative Brandon Scofield, to be played by Washington.
The Matarese Circle will now be Tom Cruise's next project, before he even starts shooting The Tourist. Production is expected to begin sometime later this year. Novelist Robert Ludlum, also known for his Bourne series of books, drew inspiration from David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission in the 1970s to write The Matarese Circle. But Haas and Brandt have updated the setting from the Cold War to modern times. It follows the two arch-enemy spies who are forced into a distrustful collaboration against a wide-reaching political conspiracy orchestrated by a mysterious organization called the Matarese.
Personally, I'm still a fan of Tom Cruise, even after his roles in Valkyrie and Lions for Lambs. I still think he's a fine actor and this definitely adds some prestige to the project. However, I'm not a fan of David Cronenberg, especially after seeing Eastern Promises. His recent directing style just isn't my cup of tea and I'm very concerned that he's going to take this project, which has a lot of potential, and dull it down with his very meticulous and mundane directing. I really hope I'm wrong and I hope he breaks out of his style for this, because I really want this to be good. Besides Cronenberg, everything else seems pretty top-notch.