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.
Reader Feedback - 11 Comments
"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." Now you are really fucking bugging. How could you not like those? History was a bit slow paced but Eastern was very good. My 2 cents 🙂
REAL6 on Oct 7, 2008
My sentiments exactly. How can you write articles in a movie news website and not like those two movies? Seriously messed up, man.
JL on Oct 7, 2008
That is truly a perplexing stance, as the two films mentioned have garnered Cronenberg the best reviews of his entire career. Sure, his earlier work was stranger, which separated him from a lot of other filmmakers, but HoV and EP have proven that he can create compelling mainstream works as well. While I enjoy his earlier stuff, like Videodrome, The Fly and Dead Ringers, I personally love this phase of his career.
Brian G on Oct 7, 2008
Cronenberg is my favorite director, and I loved A History of Violence and Eastern Promises as much as his older films. It's okay if you disagree, Alex, but I wish you wouldn't editorialize in the same column that you use to report film news. I would like to link/post your article to my social network/blog pages with a big "Hells yeah for more another Cronenberg film," but not if you're going to insult the very artist I want to praise, and you make no citation or explanation for your criticism beyond your own personal taste. Please keep your opinions to pages where you are not reporting the news. Thanks for letting me say that, I'm sorry to be so whiny. On a side note, Cronenberg was once slated to direct a movie version of Martin Amis's The London Fields; personally I was really looking forward to that one.
Jeff on Oct 7, 2008
Alex I remember reading your posts where you don't like Cronenberg's newest work - which I still cannot wrap my head around. Both History of Violence and Eastern Promises were very good. He makes dramas about actual people and what they can do in actual situations. I own both of them - excellent stuff. Sorry to seem like I am jumping on a bandwagon...I just don't understand how you could like Cronenberg these days?
Conrad on Oct 7, 2008
Sorry guys… I just really didn't like either of them - very dry and style-less movies. That doesn't mean Cronenberg wasn't a great director back in the day, he's just lost his touch recently. What you mean is you don't like his last couple of movies, not that he's lost his touch. Those two were fantastic and gritty I loved them and recommend them all the time and never hear anything but praise back. Both also review extremely good reviews. However feel free to send me some of whatever you are smoking.
Daniel on Oct 7, 2008
Gotta agree with the rest of the hoard here Alex...Eastern Promises was amazing and had the best knife fight I've ever seen among many other elements that I enjoyed, but I've stated them all before when you brought up your disgust for the film so I won't be redundant.
peloquin on Oct 8, 2008
Sounds cool. I read a script a while back called "BEST SERVED COLD" and it reminded me of this, but it was a comedy (random story).
Ryan on Oct 8, 2008
Cronenbergh is one of my favourite directors so I was waiting for some news. This project definitely sounds cool, but I think its a little bit to mainstream. I like it when Cronenbergh gets freaky on us.
Candy Castle on Oct 9, 2008
Just discovered this site and thought to have finally found a true film fan websire....... Untill I read this ridiculous statement: " I feel like he just doesn't have the same directing talent that he used to" Is this for real?? Sure Alex, it is your right not to like the last two (brilliant) films, but that is personal taste, not quality! If you can't understand the difference, you have no right to run a site like this. Those two films are simply from a very high quality in directing, acting, cinematography and style. A shame you did not like it, but you should blame yourself for a lack off taste instead of Cronenberg for loosing his talent.
Verbal on Oct 9, 2008
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.