TORONTO, Nov. 17 – Eastern Promises, the new thriller from director David Cronenberg, begins production in London next week. The film is written by Steven Knight (Academy Award™-nominated screenwriter of Dirty Pretty Things).
The Canada-UK co-production will be distributed by Focus Features in the US and handle international sales. Alliance Atlantis* Motion Picture Distribution will distribute in Canada. The producers of Eastern Promises are Toronto-based Robert Lantos (Being Julia) of Serendipity Point Films and London-based Paul Webster (Pride & Prejudice) of Kudos Pictures. Eastern Promises reteams Mr. Cronenberg with his A History of Violence leading man Viggo Mortensen and his Crash and eXistenZ producer Robert Lantos.
The film follows the mysterious and ruthless Nikolai (Mr. Mortensen), who is tied to one of London’s most notorious organized crime families. His carefully maintained existence is jarred when he crosses paths with Anna (Academy Award™ nominee Naomi Watts), an innocent midwife trying to right a wrong, who accidentally uncovers potential evidence against the family.
Now Nikolai must put into motion a harrowing chain of murder, deceit, and retribution. The supporting cast includes Vincent Cassel, Academy Award™ nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mina Erian Mina, Sarah Jeanne-LaBrosse and Sinead Cusack.
"This marks my third collaboration with David, and it’s one that I’ve been looking forward to with intense anticipation," said producer Robert Lantos.
Focus Features CEO James Schamus added, "We’re pleased to be partnering on this exciting project. Steven Knight’s screenplay resonates strongly for our world today, and it will be well-served by these fine actors."
Financiers include Astral Media, Corus Entertainment and Telefilm Canada.