“I have unfinished business with the future,” David Cronenberg has said of his new film. “Crimes of the Future,” which stars Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart, was announced this morning as part of the Competition lineup at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, running May 17-28. And right after Thierry Fremaux finished his press conference, NEON released the first official teaser of the sure-to-be-chilling thriller.
“Crimes of the Future” appears, in both the teaser and the official description the distributor released, to be a full-on return for Cronenberg to his body horror roots in movies like “Shivers,” “Rabid,” “The Brood,” and “The Fly.” There’s an image of a man with ears on the top of his forehead rather than where they should be. One’s lips are sewn shut with thread. “Crimes of the Future” is Cronenberg’s first film in eight years, and it definitely appears to be a departure from recent work such as “A Dangerous Method” and “Maps to the Stars.”
The official synopsis from NEON reads, “As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux), Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen), celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed… Their mission — to use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.”
As noted in our Cannes 2022 wish list, “Crimes of the Future” is not actually a remake of Cronenberg’s 63-minute film of the same name from 1970. He filmed this movie in Greece last summer, fitting the film in after finishing his appearances as an actor on “Star Trek: Discovery” Season 4. He plays a 32nd-century psychiatrist and Starfleet advisor on the Paramount+ series, which films in Toronto, his home base for most of his career.
Cronenberg has had a long history with Cannes, and if Mortensen’s comments to Variety are any indication, viewers on the Croisette will be in for a treat. The actor said it feels like “we’ve entered a story he collaborated on with Samuel Beckett and William Burroughs, if that were possible.”
Watch the teaser here.