One of my least favorite moments of the year so far was writing a mediocre review for David Cronenberg’s new film “A Dangerous Method.” I love Cronenberg’s work, and I consider him one of the most interesting and exciting filmmakers working anywhere today. Even when I don’t like a film he makes, which is rare, I like the conversation about it, the experience of seeing it, and the knowledge that he’s still working.
One of the most remarkable parts of his career is the way he managed to shake the horror genre, something many horror filmmakers are incapable of doing. Studios and audiences love to put filmmakers into easy boxes, and Cronenberg’s work was so outrageous that it would have been very easy to imagine him spending his whole life working in horror. Instead, he managed to redefine himself so completely that it’s possible that there are film fans who don’t even know him as a horror filmmaker.
One of his biggest mainstream moments came in the ’80s with his remake of “The Fly.” I am still amazed by the film when I revisit it, and I think it’s one of the saddest films of his entire career. For years now, Fox has been trying to find a way to kick off a new version of the film. I even had a series of pitch meetings on it with my writing partner at one point, and I heard from Fox how they wanted to return to the original source material and find some new way into it.
Consider me surprised, then, in a good way, by the news that Cronenberg would not only consider a return to the genre but that he’s already written a script for what he describes as a sequel, not a remake.
I’m not sure what the status of the film is at Fox, but considering their appetite for sequels and reboots, I can’t imagine what the hold-up is. If Cronenberg was willing to write a script, I imagine he must have found something in the material that intrigued him and that was worth digging back into.
I’m curious to see if this one actually ends up happening, and if not, if I’ll ever be able to get my grubby little hands on the draft. It sounds fascinating, and we’ll definitely keep you posted. If it does get made, then as our own Dan Fienberg commented to me in e-mail, “This will mark the most significant erasure of Eric Stoltz from film history since ‘Back to The Future.'”
In the meantime, “A Dangerous Method” opens November 23, 2011.