Is David Cronenberg Still Adapting The Play The Talking Cure?

I love how the trades bury nuggets of info. At the bottom of the piece I used to source info about Michael Fassbender's upcoming role in A Single Shot was a throwaway sentence that suggests David Cronenberg is still at work on The Talking Cure, a project we've heard almost nothing about in the two years since it was first 'announced'.

Almost exactly two years ago, a few reports said that Cronenberg was adapting The Talking Cure, a 2002 play by Christopher Hampton. (Ralph Fiennes, Cronenberg's star in Spider, appeared in one of the primary productions of the play.) The story's arc concerns the founding fathers of psychoanalysis, Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, and their parallel relationships with a beautiful patient, Sabina Spielrein. Shades of Dead Ringers in there, yeah? In some ways this sounds like the subtext of much of Cronenberg's work being brought right to the surface. Could be interesting. But we've heard almost nothing about the possibility of the film since that announcement.

Then, yesterday, there was this in Variety: "Hanway's slate includes helmer David Cronenberg's "The Talking Cure." 'Hanway' in this case is Hanway Films, a London-based company that specializes in financing and sales. I wrote Hanway this afternoon to see if they could provide more detail. Is the film actually still active, and if so has the company already put together a financing package for it? They were trying to sell the film two years ago at the AFM, which is once again going on right now. Are they really still flogging this one? (I hope so!)

Cronenberg is a very active filmmaker when it comes to development. He's got a list of once-possible projects a mile long; often he'll work on a few different things, and when one comes together all the others are put down. Often they are fully abandoned. I would have guessed that The Talking Cure would be one of these, so this little mention is a surprise. For what it's worth, I'd also expect The Matarese Circle, Cronenberg's aborted Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington project, to be another abandoned effort.

Then, for those keeping track, there's also Cosmopolis, the Don DeLillo novel adaptation that seemed like Cronenberg's likely next project after Matarese fell apart. Then Fox reportedly has him developing another remake of The Fly, but that really seems like leverage to get another film made. "Stop dragging your feet here, guys, or you'll lose me to Fox," — that sort of thing. Time will tell.