Cronenberg is a talented filmmaker, and a smart one. Despite his flirtations with the avant-garde, he has nonetheless remained firmly entrenched in the mainstream consciousness with efforts like “Eastern Promises” and “A History of Violence.” His next project has been something of a question mark for awhile. Spy thriller “The Matarese Circle” went away after Tom Cruise dropped out to do “Knight & Day.” And there’s been no news at all on his plans to adapt Don DeLillo’s “Cosmopolis.” It’s looking like his next effort won’t be either of those, and that’s he’s already got some of his cast in place.
It was revealed on the Facebook page for Australian distributor Hopscotch Films that Cronenberg will next likely tackle an adaptation of Christopher Hampton’s book, “The Talking Cure” (via The Playlist). The book presents the story of “the birth of psychoanalysis,” framed as an ongoing exchange/competition between two early minds in the field: Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.
The Facebook update also reveals some casting details. “Inglourious Basterds” stars Chrisoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender will appear in the film as will Keira Knightley, aka Elizabeth Swann from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. All three are described in the Facebook update as the “stars” of “Talking Cure,” leading one to believe that Waltz and Fassbender will play the two head doctors. Knightley will probably play Sabina, a young Russian woman who is treated by Jung, and who becomes the focus of his affections.
What’s so very interesting about all of this is Cronenberg’s involvement. The filmmaker has made a reputation for himself as being an expert in bringing “body horror” to the silver screen. Check out “The Fly,” “Videodrome,” “eXistenZ,” “Dead Ringers,” “A History of Violence”… really anything he’s made, and you’ll get the idea. His style is marked by frequent (and graphic) scenes of body alteration, so it will be interesting to see how he tells a story which is more rooted in the horrors of the mind.
Have you read “The Talking Cure”? Can you see Cronenberg taking on a story like this? What do you think of the casting revelations?