This is me, doing an impression of the most famous scene from Scanners as David Cronenberg tells MTV that he’s planning a sequel to Eastern Promises.
(If you haven’t seen that movie, now is a good time, because spoiler talk is going to commence right about…now.)
In Promises, Viggo Mortensen played a Russian gangster who, at the end of the movie, is revealed to be a British agent. Not only does that set up a sort of context in Cronenberg’s filmography for the overtly espionage-oriented Matarese Circle (as opposed to the implicitly espionage-oriented movies he’s always made), it creates an intriguing opportunity to tell more stories about the character.
“We are moving forward with it,” says Cronenberg. “We all are excited about the idea of doing a sequel.” By that, he means Viggo Mortensen, writer Steven Knight, producer Paul Webster and the studio, Focus. He says there will soon be a meeting with Knight and Webster. “I have some very strong ideas about what I would like to see, but I would like to hear what they have to say as well.” If Knight then creates a script that all are happy with, Cronenberg will be ready to make it.
More than one Cronenberg idea has been given the sequel treatment by another director, but this is the first time he’s gone back to a particular well. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been in a situation where I actually want to do a sequel to something…But in this case, I thought we had unfinished business with those characters. I didn’t feel that we had finished with Nikolai and we had done a lot of research that was more than we could stuff into that one movie.”
Questions come to mind: does Naomi Watts’ character have a role? Does the movie move forward in time, or back? Will it be a straight genre spy picture with Cronenberg’s current mature storytelling overtones, or will we dive deeper into Viggo’s character a la mid-period Cronenberg? Does Viggo wear pants throughout?
We’re dying to know.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey