Remake of The Fly to Be Directed By… David Cronenberg

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Note: With The Matarese Circle, once a potential vehicle for Tom Cruise, seemingly on the back burner, might this be David Cronenberg’s next film? The director also has the previously announced Don DeLillo adaptation and “limo drama,” Cosmopolis, in development.

Predictable news this evening with a double-take twist. David Cronenberg is said to be developing a remake of his 1986 sci-fi horror classic The Fly as a potential vehicle for him to write and direct. Risky Business reports that technological leaps are the main factor in Cronenberg’s decision to remake the material, which is a common excuse—what, no 3D catch?—but in this case, justifiable. Cronenberg’s The Fly was itself a heightened and gory creature feature remake of the 1958 film of the same name starring Vincent Price. Last year, Cronenberg was involved in an opera production of the film for the stage with Fly composer Howard Shore. Common sense says the opera was the decision’s spark.

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Update: Tom Cruise was being courted for at least six different big Hollywood projects. Out of all the possible projects, the star has chosen the least interesting one. Cruise is in talks to join Cameron Diaz in the 20th Century Fox action-comedy Wichita. Cruise will play an undercover agent who pops in and out of the life of a woman (Diaz) who has man trouble. Cruise and Diaz have approved the script, which most recently was worked on by Scott Frank (The Lookout) and Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island). Directed by Walk the Line/3:10 to Yuma helmer James Mangold, Fox hopes to have the film in theaters for a Summer 2010 release.
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Tom Cruise’s Fantastic Options

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Variety have published a very exciting list of every film that could, potentially, become the next film for Tom Cruise – as well as a list of the various writers and directors working on them. The focus is on the writers, as the umbrella notion here is that Cruise is calling for lotsa costly rewrites from script doctors. Curiously enough, it is later made clear in the piece that some of these writers aren’t doctoring as much as coming on to the projects as full-on writers.

The full list follows, but sadly it doesn’t contain two interesting prospects: Susanne Bier‘s Lost For Words and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck‘s The 28th Amendment. Hopefully they’ll still go ahead with a different lead, or be resurrected once Cruise has cleared his plate a little.

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It’s been a busy time for Robert Ludlum watchers these last few days. Not one, not two, not three, not four but five upcoming films to be based, one way or another, on his books have had some fresh light shed upon them. (John Grisham watchers should just pack up their tents; Tom Clancy watchers will probably see some action before long)

Film one. Michael Brandt and Derek Haas have scripted an adaptation of The Matarese Circle. Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington have been tapped to star and David Cronenberg is lining up a nice long sit in the canvas seat. We knew about Michael, Derek, David and Denzel, but the fresh addition of the smiling one seems to suggest big progress is being made. Variety tell us that the sequel novel The Matarese Countdown was snapped up in the same rights swoop – let’s skip to the end and call that film five.

News of films two, three and four below the break.

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Yeah yeah, we all wanted another killer gaping orifice movie. Celebrated director David Cronenberg is in talks to helm The Matarese Circle, a global conspiracy thriller based on the 1979 book by the late author Robert Ludlum (the Bourne franchise). Denzel Washington is already attached to play one of the leads in the MGM production, with an adapted screenplay to be written by the duo Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (3:10 to Yuma, Wanted, Wanted 2, CTK).

Set during the Cold War, the novel follows two rival spies—one U.S./CIA, the other a Soviet/KGB—who team to uncover and defeat a ruthless Illuminati-like organization called the Matarese that’s behind a century-old conspiracy to crush world governments. There’s also a “mysterious love interest.” Okay, this is where I’ll begin pasting…

“The spies share a genius for espionage—and a life of terror and explosive violence. Sworn enemies, they have vowed to terminate each other—yet now they must become allies.”

Though his name is not mentioned in the announcement or attached to the film, Cronenberg fave, Viggo Mortensen, told E! last month that they were discussing a possible third feature together. Is this it? Washington is signed to play the American, while an actor in the Soviet role was not given. In 2007′s Eastern Promises, Mortensen memorably played a Russian gangster/informant, which earned him an Oscar nod.

Though The Matarese Circle is poised from the get-go to reach a different box office level than Cronenberg’s previous works, it continues the director’s path away from hardcore genre classics like Videodrome, Scanners, Crash and The Fly. Over at CHUD, Devin pours out a bit of 40 oz. for those glory days, and even though seeing Cronenberg explore Alex Jones‘s territory could be appealing, I dunno. I mean, did Denzel watch Dead Ringers and quip “my man“?

Discuss: Cronenberg’s Bourne? Thoughts from those who have read the book?

Uhhh: First Showing’s Alex Billington says he didn’t like A History of Violence or Eastern Promises and feels Cronenberg has fallen off. Enjoy Kirk Cameron’s filmography, Alex.

Source: Variety / Amazon

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