Nov 15, 2019
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David Cronenberg embracing the productivity only a cold Canadian winter brings

TORONTO - Film director David Cronenberg is hunkered down in his Toronto home, relishing the productivity that only a cold, dark Canadian winter can bring.

“The winter is good for writing,” said Cronenberg, 65, during a telephone interview on Tuesday.

“You’re not so encouraged to go out and frolic. It’s dark early so you sit at home.”

But while he’s enjoying some time in his hometown after spending much of the year in France and Los Angeles, Cronenberg has his mind on Hollywood.

The avant-garde director who became known for out-there cult classics like “Scanners,” “The Dead Zone” and “The Fly” and more recently reached a wider audience now plans to go completely mainstream with a big-budget Hollywood movie.

Cronenberg is writing a screenplay based on the book “The Matarese Circle” by the late Robert Ludlum, author of more than two dozen thrillers including “The Bourne Identity,” which spawned a film franchise.

The 1979 book was written during the Cold War and tells the story of an American CIA agent and a Russian operative who collaborate against a third force that threatens both nations.

Cronenberg is working on updating the story and said he’s excited about giving it the Hollywood treatment.

“I’m really liking the challenge of doing a kind of big-budget studio spy movie,” he said.

“I was developing my taste for it with the last two movies I did, ‘A History of Violence’ and ‘Eastern Promises,’ and this opportunity came along and I thought I would give it a try.”

So far the only star attached to the project is Denzel Washington, but Cronenberg coyly hinted that another big-name actor he recently met with might show some interest in the movie.

“You never know,” Cronenberg said with a laugh when asked about his meeting with Tom Cruise in Toronto.

“I’ve heard over the years that he’s a big fan of mine, and since he was in town his people got in touch with me and wondered if I could meet with him. So we were just talking about general stuff, not anything specific,” he said.

“But he has expressed a desire to work with me and I have reciprocated – so you never know.”

Cronenberg spent time this year in Paris and Los Angeles overseeing the transformation of his film “The Fly” into an opera, with the help of composer Howard Shore and tenor Placido Domingo.

The stage production was panned by critics but Cronenberg said he remains immensely proud of it and shrugged off the reviews.

“Every time you create something you expose yourself to (criticism), but I have to say the feedback that I got was terrific – aside from some of the critics, and opera critics are a strange breed,” he said.

“Let’s put it this way: I’ve got quite a few offers to direct other operas since then, which to me is the biggest compliment possible because it’s coming from people who really understand what I did and what ‘The Fly’ was.

“You can’t get a better critique than that, frankly, compared to what some opera journalist writes.”

He said there’s been interest in turning his 1988 film “Dead Ringers” into an opera, although he didn’t know if that idea would ever get off the ground, or if the opera version of “The Fly” might be restaged elsewhere.

Cronenberg, who was named Tuesday to the Canadian Film Centre’s board of directors, said the position will offer a chance to help teach young filmmakers about the craft – but he also expects to be inspired as well.

“It’s very easy to become isolated, especially when you’re writing a script in the middle of the winter as I’m doing now and I’m not going out,” he said.

“This gives me a way of keeping in touch (with developments in the industry), and also it’s always very stimulating to encounter young new minds and to interact with them.”

He said cheaper access to technology is a benefit to filmmakers, although he doesn’t expect it will spawn an unprecedented era of masterpieces.

“Let’s put it this way: since literacy, everybody can write a letter but it doesn’t mean everybody can write a great novel,” he said.

“And it’s the same with film. Anybody can shoot video now – on their cellphone, with their (digital camera) – but it takes a lot more. Not just talent, but discipline and will are extremely important.”

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Front Page, Industry News

David Cronenberg embracing the productivity only a cold Canadian winter brings

TORONTO - Film director David Cronenberg is hunkered down in his Toronto home, relishing the productivity that only a cold, dark Canadian winter can bring.

“The winter is good for writing,” said Cronenberg, 65, during a telephone interview on Tuesday.

“You’re not so encouraged to go out and frolic. It’s dark early so you sit at home.”

But while he’s enjoying some time in his hometown after spending much of the year in France and Los Angeles, Cronenberg has his mind on Hollywood.

The avant-garde director who became known for out-there cult classics like “Scanners,” “The Dead Zone” and “The Fly” and more recently reached a wider audience now plans to go completely mainstream with a big-budget Hollywood movie.

Cronenberg is writing a screenplay based on the book “The Matarese Circle” by the late Robert Ludlum, author of more than two dozen thrillers including “The Bourne Identity,” which spawned a film franchise.

The 1979 book was written during the Cold War and tells the story of an American CIA agent and a Russian operative who collaborate against a third force that threatens both nations.

Cronenberg is working on updating the story and said he’s excited about giving it the Hollywood treatment.

“I’m really liking the challenge of doing a kind of big-budget studio spy movie,” he said.

“I was developing my taste for it with the last two movies I did, ‘A History of Violence’ and ‘Eastern Promises,’ and this opportunity came along and I thought I would give it a try.”

So far the only star attached to the project is Denzel Washington, but Cronenberg coyly hinted that another big-name actor he recently met with might show some interest in the movie.

“You never know,” Cronenberg said with a laugh when asked about his meeting with Tom Cruise in Toronto.

“I’ve heard over the years that he’s a big fan of mine, and since he was in town his people got in touch with me and wondered if I could meet with him. So we were just talking about general stuff, not anything specific,” he said.

“But he has expressed a desire to work with me and I have reciprocated – so you never know.”

Cronenberg spent time this year in Paris and Los Angeles overseeing the transformation of his film “The Fly” into an opera, with the help of composer Howard Shore and tenor Placido Domingo.

The stage production was panned by critics but Cronenberg said he remains immensely proud of it and shrugged off the reviews.

“Every time you create something you expose yourself to (criticism), but I have to say the feedback that I got was terrific – aside from some of the critics, and opera critics are a strange breed,” he said.

“Let’s put it this way: I’ve got quite a few offers to direct other operas since then, which to me is the biggest compliment possible because it’s coming from people who really understand what I did and what ‘The Fly’ was.

“You can’t get a better critique than that, frankly, compared to what some opera journalist writes.”

He said there’s been interest in turning his 1988 film “Dead Ringers” into an opera, although he didn’t know if that idea would ever get off the ground, or if the opera version of “The Fly” might be restaged elsewhere.

Cronenberg, who was named Tuesday to the Canadian Film Centre’s board of directors, said the position will offer a chance to help teach young filmmakers about the craft – but he also expects to be inspired as well.

“It’s very easy to become isolated, especially when you’re writing a script in the middle of the winter as I’m doing now and I’m not going out,” he said.

“This gives me a way of keeping in touch (with developments in the industry), and also it’s always very stimulating to encounter young new minds and to interact with them.”

He said cheaper access to technology is a benefit to filmmakers, although he doesn’t expect it will spawn an unprecedented era of masterpieces.

“Let’s put it this way: since literacy, everybody can write a letter but it doesn’t mean everybody can write a great novel,” he said.

“And it’s the same with film. Anybody can shoot video now – on their cellphone, with their (digital camera) – but it takes a lot more. Not just talent, but discipline and will are extremely important.”

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Front Page, Industry News

David Cronenberg embracing the productivity only a cold Canadian winter brings

TORONTO - Film director David Cronenberg is hunkered down in his Toronto home, relishing the productivity that only a cold, dark Canadian winter can bring.

“The winter is good for writing,” said Cronenberg, 65, during a telephone interview on Tuesday.

“You’re not so encouraged to go out and frolic. It’s dark early so you sit at home.”

But while he’s enjoying some time in his hometown after spending much of the year in France and Los Angeles, Cronenberg has his mind on Hollywood.

The avant-garde director who became known for out-there cult classics like “Scanners,” “The Dead Zone” and “The Fly” and more recently reached a wider audience now plans to go completely mainstream with a big-budget Hollywood movie.

Cronenberg is writing a screenplay based on the book “The Matarese Circle” by the late Robert Ludlum, author of more than two dozen thrillers including “The Bourne Identity,” which spawned a film franchise.

The 1979 book was written during the Cold War and tells the story of an American CIA agent and a Russian operative who collaborate against a third force that threatens both nations.

Cronenberg is working on updating the story and said he’s excited about giving it the Hollywood treatment.

“I’m really liking the challenge of doing a kind of big-budget studio spy movie,” he said.

“I was developing my taste for it with the last two movies I did, ‘A History of Violence’ and ‘Eastern Promises,’ and this opportunity came along and I thought I would give it a try.”

So far the only star attached to the project is Denzel Washington, but Cronenberg coyly hinted that another big-name actor he recently met with might show some interest in the movie.

“You never know,” Cronenberg said with a laugh when asked about his meeting with Tom Cruise in Toronto.

“I’ve heard over the years that he’s a big fan of mine, and since he was in town his people got in touch with me and wondered if I could meet with him. So we were just talking about general stuff, not anything specific,” he said.

“But he has expressed a desire to work with me and I have reciprocated – so you never know.”

Cronenberg spent time this year in Paris and Los Angeles overseeing the transformation of his film “The Fly” into an opera, with the help of composer Howard Shore and tenor Placido Domingo.

The stage production was panned by critics but Cronenberg said he remains immensely proud of it and shrugged off the reviews.

“Every time you create something you expose yourself to (criticism), but I have to say the feedback that I got was terrific – aside from some of the critics, and opera critics are a strange breed,” he said.

“Let’s put it this way: I’ve got quite a few offers to direct other operas since then, which to me is the biggest compliment possible because it’s coming from people who really understand what I did and what ‘The Fly’ was.

“You can’t get a better critique than that, frankly, compared to what some opera journalist writes.”

He said there’s been interest in turning his 1988 film “Dead Ringers” into an opera, although he didn’t know if that idea would ever get off the ground, or if the opera version of “The Fly” might be restaged elsewhere.

Cronenberg, who was named Tuesday to the Canadian Film Centre’s board of directors, said the position will offer a chance to help teach young filmmakers about the craft – but he also expects to be inspired as well.

“It’s very easy to become isolated, especially when you’re writing a script in the middle of the winter as I’m doing now and I’m not going out,” he said.

“This gives me a way of keeping in touch (with developments in the industry), and also it’s always very stimulating to encounter young new minds and to interact with them.”

He said cheaper access to technology is a benefit to filmmakers, although he doesn’t expect it will spawn an unprecedented era of masterpieces.

“Let’s put it this way: since literacy, everybody can write a letter but it doesn’t mean everybody can write a great novel,” he said.

“And it’s the same with film. Anybody can shoot video now – on their cellphone, with their (digital camera) – but it takes a lot more. Not just talent, but discipline and will are extremely important.”

Source:

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