Cronenberg Discusses ‘The Matarese Circle’

With news surfacing a couple of days ago saying director David Cronenberg was making plans for a sequel to the 2007 Russian mobster movie Eastern Promises a few people began to wonder what was up with the proposed Robert Ludlum adaptation The Matarese Circle, a big budget feature Cronenberg was lining up to direct with Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington. I wondered as well and only a couple of days later we have our answer as the Toronto Star has an interview with Cronenberg in which he reveals details pertaining to what is going on with the feature.

“I’ve spoken to both Tom and Denzel, and they both want to do it,” he told the daily and when asked what the holdup was he replied, “They’re waiting to read my script. So I’m under a lot of pressure and I don’t want to screw it up.”

Wait… what? When last we heard of this project it was said Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted) had penned the script, which is said to have contemporizes Ludlum’s original 1979 Cold War premise, but Cronenberg has apparently locked himself away in an attempt to add some final touches.

“It comes from the same place as wanting to direct an opera, or write a novel, or curate an Andy Warhol art exhibit,” he said. “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 L.A. a couple of weeks ago, and he’s very excited.”

In the film Cruise would go head-to-head with Washington as two bitter enemy spies who, after spending two decades trying to kill one another, find themselves in the crosshairs of the Matarese, a powerful group at the root of a conspiracy.

The action requires location shooting in six countries, and the article says if Cronenberg gets his way, Toronto will be home base, where the production offices are situated, with all the interior shooting at the new Filmport facility.

The article goes on to say if things work out the film will look to begin production this coming September on a budget of $150 million for what I would assume would be a 2010 release. You can read the complete article here.

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