I know that David Cronenberg has spent the last few years moving away from the kinds of films that we would describe as Cronenbergian, but is it possible that he’s wandered too far afield? Variety is reporting that the Canadian genius is in negotiations to direct an adaptation of fucking Robert Ludlum book, The Matarese Circle. And from a script by the very, very middlebrow duo of Michael Brandt and Derek Haas – aka the guys behind 3:10 to Yuma and The A-Team movie scripts*.
The 1979 Ludlum book is about two dudes – an American and a Soviet – who discover that all the world’s governments are run by a global conspiracy called The Matarese, and they try to topple it. Ludlum based The Matarese on the Trilateral Commission for those of you out there with tin foil hats.
Denzel Washington was already on board to star as the American.
I mean, this would be a perfectly serviceable action thriller, but I don’t see why Cronenberg wants to go here, unless he really wants the dough and Eastern Promises got him super excited about making movies featuring Russians. Am I being too close-minded or is it weird to see a guy this good, this unique, this talented, getting shoved into a directorial slot as just another ‘element?’ Don’t you want to see Cronenberg either developing his own material or taking material and making it his own – something that seems unlikely on this kind of a proeject?
I’ll wait and see; after all, who would have guessed that Ludlum books were a good idea for Paul Greengrass after Bloody Sunday.
* They wrote Wanted but I’ve heard that the final product doesn’t much resemble what they had.