Everyone eventually does TV, as they say. It’s a saying we just made up, but it’s becoming increasingly true. To wit, the latest cinema auteur to head to the small screen is David Cronenberg, the cerebral filmmaker of the 1986 remake of The Fly, Dead Ringers and A History of Violence, and otherwise known as “The King of Venereal Horror.”
While at the Venice Film Festival, where he’s being honored with a lifetime achievement award, the Canadian filmmaker revealed he’s in the early stages of working on a TV project, as reported by Variety. That’s all he said; he would not elaborate on specifics or even say for which station, only stating that he “can’t talk about it yet.”
The mind, of course, reels imagining what he could come up with, given that these days there’s nothing you can’t do on television. This is a man who’s sneaked untold can’t-unsee images into the multiplexes. There’s that scene in Videodrome in which James Woods inserts an orgasmically pulsating VHS tape into a vertical gash that’s opened up in his chest. And there’s when Jeff Goldblum’s freakin’ face falls off in The Fly, aka the second best horror film of the 1980s.
And of course, there was that time he incurred the wrath of Ted Turner when he adapted J.G. Ballard’s classic novel Crash, a decidedly NC-17 movie about people who get sexually aroused by vehicular destruction — which also probably incurred the wrath of many innocent people who meant to rent the Crash that won the Best Picture Oscar and got the one with [seriously unprintable act] instead.
Cronenberg seems to have cooled on the medium that made him a name. Now 75, his most recent film is 2014’s Map to the Stars, featuring Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson — the second time, after 2012’s Cosmopolis, that he traumatized Twi-hards who just wanted to stare at Edward Cullen some more. Since then he’s written a book, Consumed, and, of course, inspired an instant classic episode of Rick and Morty, in which the majority of the planet is turned into hideous creatures called “Cronenbergs.”
Cronenberg has done bits of TV, particularly early in his career, but this will be his first full sincere plunge into the medium. Last time he flirted with it, he turned down directing the unloved second seasons of True Detective because he thought the script was “bad.”