When David Cronenberg wrote and directed his most recent sci-fi film, the world was still fretting about the impending arrival of Y2K. But the body horror master’s 1999 eXistenZ still resonates today, with a dystopian tale of dodging the techno future’s worst actors…when all you really wanna do is tune out all the depressing white noise.
Now, more than two decades later, Cronenberg is reportedly returning (thankfully) to sci-fi for another dark movie dive into a noir-ish tomorrow — one fraught with all the duck-and-cover dread of a free-thinking individual versus the world. Deadline reports that Cronenberg will write and direct an upcoming sci-fi thriller titled Crimes of the Future, and that he’s already tapped some serious star power to lead the movie’s well-rounded cast.
Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Léa Seydoux (Spectre), and frequent Cronenberg collaborator Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises) have reportedly signed on to lead a Crimes cast that also includes Scott Speedman, Welket Bungué, Don McKellar, and Lihi Kornowski. Cronenberg reportedly is both writing and directing the new movie, which is far enough into development to target a production start in Athens, Greece this summer.
The setup for Crimes of the Future sounds like a classic Cronenberg story meant for the modern world. It puts a target on the back of a visionary individual — and then finds the darker side of technocracy training its sights directly on him.
In the near future, humans are reaching a moment of biological “metamorphosis” as people evolve adaptations to their increasingly artificial environment. In the middle is performance artist Saul Tenser, who gains fame (and scorn from traditionalists) for embracing the so-called “Accelerated Evolution Syndrome” — a condition that allows him to turn his gift for growing (and then removing) his own organs into a sort of public spectacle…complete with his own fan following.
Pushing those kind of boundaries draws the wrong kind of attention to Tenser and his partner Caprice — both from the powers that be, and the societal holdouts who resist the idea of toying with nature. “While some embrace the limitless potential of trans-humanism, others attempt to police it,” the quoted synopsis states. "With both the government and a strange subculture taking note, Tenser is forced to consider what would be his most shocking performance of all.”
Producers Steve Solomos and Robert Lantos (who’s previously worked with Cronenberg on Eastern Promises, Crash, and eXistenZ) are teaming with Cronenberg for a U.S. theatrical release from Neon. Crimes of the Future will also reportedly feature creative reunions between past Cronenberg collaborators including Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore (A History of Violence) and production designer Carol Spier (Crash, Dead Ringers). A release date hasn't yet been announced.