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David Cronenberg at Work on a ‘Very Personal Script,’ but Says He’s Happy If He Never Makes a Movie Again

The Canadian director has a few projects in the mix, but all have yet to come to fruition. He says that's OK.

David CronenbergGolden Lion award photocall, 75th Venice International Film Festival, Italy - 05 Sep 2018

David Cronenberg

Maria Laura Antonelli/REX/Shutterstock

David Cronenberg hasn’t directed a movie since 2014’s “Maps to the Stars,” a satire in which the Canadian filmmaker set Hollywood on fire. And while the director hasn’t officially returned from movie-making, he’s in no rush to jump behind the camera again, either. Still, a new interview with The Guardian, timed to Cronenberg’s appearance in front of the camera on the Canadian thriller “Disappearance at Clifton Hill,” reveals that Cronenberg has a few projects in the mix.

That includes an adaptation of his 2014 novel “Consumed,” which back in October was rumored to be set up at Netflix. The streamer, though, according to Cronenberg, passed on scripts for two episodes on another series he proposed, and “Consumed” remains without a home for now. (Netflix has yet to respond to IndieWire’s request for comment on these projects.)

Cronenberg told The Guardian that he’s meanwhile tinkering with a “very personal” screenplay. “Whichever one happens first, I’ll do,” he said. “No matter whether you’re in Canada or not, with independent film … it’s difficult to get anything made. The more unusual a film is, the more resistance you’ll face.”

And anything “usual,” Cronenberg’s body of work certainly is not. Prior to “Maps to the Stars,” which won Julianne Moore the Best Actress prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Cronenberg directed the Don DeLillo adaptation “Cosmopolis,” along with “A Dangerous Method” and “Eastern Promises,” adding to a portfolio of classics including “A History of Violence,” “Dead Ringers,” “The Fly,” “Crash,” and “Videodrome.”

“It’s been a long, difficult process,” Cronenberg said of trying to push a movie up a mountain in today’s age. “Even in the era of streaming or whatever. You’re accumulating possible investors, people lose interest, more investors. You talk to maybe Canal+ or a broadcaster, and you wait, and you hope.”

But Cronenberg, whose son Brandon just premiered his second film “Possessor” at the Sundance Film Festival last month, said he’s content not making another movie. (For one thing, he’s apparently been working on his figure, as the 76-year-old director has been “working out consistently” in recent years.)

“As I said in Venice when we were showing the restoration of ‘Crash,'” David Cronenberg said of a recent screening, “if I never make another movie, that’s perfectly OK. People were upset by that, but it’s true. If one of these projects gets greenlit, I’ll become obsessed again, throw myself into it completely as I always have. But I don’t feel the desperation to create that I used to when I was a young man trying to make a name for myself. I wanted to get all my ideas on screen, and now, I have.”

If anything is likely to get the greenlight in the near future, it’s “Consumed.” Per a synopsis via the novel’s publisher, Scribner, “Consumed” centers on “a pair of globetrotting, gore-obsessed journalists whose entanglement in a French philosopher’s death becomes a surreal journey into global conspiracy.” The story is billed by Scribner as “a gripping, dreamlike plot that involves geopolitics, 3-D printing, North Korea, the Cannes Film Festival, cancer, and, in an incredible number of varieties, sex.” Author Stephen King called the book “an eye-opening dazzler.”

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