David Cronenberg has not wanted for work these last few years — with recurring roles in TV’s “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Slasher,” and “Alias Grace,” and a few short films in the can. But he hasn’t directed a feature since 2014’s “Maps to the Stars” won Julianne Moore the Best Actress prize at Cannes. He’s finally back behind the camera for “Crimes of the Future,” a speculative science-fiction film with a stacked cast including Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Scott Speedman, Welket Bungué, Don McKellar, and Lihi Kornowski. The film shot in Greece earlier this year.
As revealed in a new interview with Document (via The Film Stage), Cronenberg is currently in the edit on “Crimes of the Future” and working closely with Stewart (whom he cross-interviews for the piece) on the post-production. If all goes well, this should show up at Cannes next year.
“I wrote this script 20 years ago, so it was almost like a script that somebody else wrote. Except for some of the roles that I cast in Athens, with Greek actors, I had never heard any of the dialogue spoken before. So to hear Kristen start to speak the lines of this character, it was a shock! I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is a living creature — out of control, in the sense that it has its life — and it’s coming to life right in front of me.’”
He continued, “I’ve been spending time with Kristen every day, but in the editing room. It’s a weirdly intimate relationship because you become so sensitized, as a director, to every hesitation, every body movement, every vocal inflection. So you have this strange relationship with an actor who doesn’t know that you’re doing that.”
Meanwhile, in an earlier interview with Screen Daily hot on the awards trail for her role as Princess Diana in “Spencer,” Stewart offered more insight into the particulars of the movie, and it sounds like the stuff of classic Cronenberg.
“It’s set in a world where people have evolved to a point where we don’t feel physical pain,” Stewart said. “Sex has changed quite a bit, and the new art form is growing organs. Viggo [Mortensen] is a famous performance artist. Léa Seydoux is his partner who tattoos these organs and displays them. My character becomes enamored with Viggo’s artist.”
Read Neon’s previously released synopsis of the film here:
Taking a deep dive into the not-so-distant future where humankind is learning to adapt to its synthetic surroundings. This evolution moves humans beyond their natural state and into a metamorphosis, altering their biological makeup. While some embrace the limitless potential of trans-humanism, others attempt to police it. Either way, ‘Accelerated Evolution Syndrome’ is spreading fast. Saul Tenser is a beloved performance artist who has embraced Accelerated Evolution Syndrome, sprouting new and unexpected organs in his body. Along with his partner Caprice, Tenser has turned the removal of these organs into a spectacle for his loyal followers to marvel at in real-time theatre. But with both the government and a strange subculture taking note, Tenser is forced to consider what would be his most shocking performance of all.