Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen has so far worked with legendary horror director David Cronenberg three times. The pair produced the one-two punch of superb thrillers in 2005’s A History of Violence and 2007’s Eastern Promises. Now, David Cronenberg plays the memorable role of a doctor in Mortensen’s directorial debut Falling, in theaters this Friday. With those first two Mortensen collaborations taking the filmmaker out of the genre he had become so adept at, Cronenberg has not produced another horror outing since. Well, according to Mortensen, that is about to change, with the actor/director duo set to team-up again on a project that will take Cronenberg back to his roots.
“Yes, we do have something in mind. It’s something he wrote a long time ago, and he never got it made. Now he’s refined it, and he wants to shoot it. Hopefully, it’ll be this summer we’ll be filming. I would say, without giving the story away, he’s going maybe a little bit back to his origins.”
Viggo Mortensen referring to Cronenberg’s “origins” will no doubt have fans wondering whether this means body-horror type stuff, something that the horror director has proven time and again to be the master of with the likes of Scanners, Videodrome, and The Fly, among others. Without giving too much away, Mortensen seemed to confirm that the new project will gift modern audiences with the twisted sight of Cronenberg’s patented manipulation of biology.
“Yeah, it’s very interesting. It’s almost like a strange film noir story. It’s disturbing and it’s good, I think. But since his origins, he’s obviously developed in terms of technique and self-assurance as a director.”
Beginning their creative partnership in 2005, A History of Violence finds Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall, a seemingly mild-mannered diner owner, who becomes a local hero after he foils an attempted robbery. When he tries to return to normalcy, Carl Fogarty, a gangster, shows up with vengeance on his mind, believing that Tom is not who he claims to be. Based on the graphic novel of the same name by John Wagner and Vince Locke, A History of Violence stars Maria Bello, Ed Harris, and William Hurt in supporting roles, and was praised for its compelling approach to the nature of raw, untethered violence.
Cronenberg and Mortensen followed this up with 2007’s Eastern Promises, which tells a story of a Russian-British midwife named Anna, who delivers the baby of a drug-addicted 14-year-old Russian prostitute who dies in childbirth. After Anna learns that the teen was forced into prostitution by the Russian Mafia in London, the leader of the Russian gangsters threatens the baby’s life to keep Anna from telling the police about their villainous dealings. As Anna tries to protect the baby, she is enmeshed deeper into the criminal underworld, and is threatened by the Mafia leader’s son and warned off by the son’s strong-arm man, Nikolai.
Eastern Promises repeated the success of the pair’s first collaboration and was once again critically praised. The movie boasts a magnetic central performance from Mortensen and the actor leaves everything exposed (both literally and figuratively), with Cronenberg crafting an intimate, gritty crime drama. An Eastern Promises sequel starring Jason Statham is currently being planned.
While details are currently rather thin, the prospect of another Mortensen/Cronenberg alliance is a truly exciting one, and should result in another warped cinematic gem. This comes to us from GQ.