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With Cure and Circle in Limbo, Cronenberg Moves to the Cosmopolis

With The Talking Cure and The Matarese Circle (among a half-dozen projects Tom Cruise is considering) in limbo, David Cronenberg and his Toronto Antenna Ltd. and his Paulo Branco’s Paris-based production house Alfama Films will co-produce Cosmopolis for a shoot next year in cosmopolitan cities of New York and Toronto.

With The Talking Cure and The Matarese Circle (among a half-dozen projects Tom Cruise is considering) in limbo, David Cronenberg and his Toronto Antenna Ltd. and his Paulo Branco’s Paris-based production house Alfama Films will co-produce Cosmopolis for a shoot next year in cosmopolitan cities of New York and Toronto. Cronenberg will helm the film based on a novel by Don DeLillo, who saw his one of his first books receive the film treatment this past year – with George Ratliff directing End Zone (however, no status updates on this one). 

Book synopsis with spoilers ahead:

Cosmopolis is the story of Eric Packer, a 28 year old multi-billionaire asset manager who makes an odyssey across midtown Manhattan in order to get a haircut. The stretch limo which adorns the cover of the book is richly described as highly technical and very luxurious, filled with television screens and computer monitors, bullet-proofed and floored in Carrara marble. It is also cork lined to protect against street noise, though unsuccessfully, Packer notes.
Like James Joyce’s Ulysses, Cosmopolis covers roughly one day of time and includes highly sexed women and the theme of father-son separation. Packer’s voyage is obstructed by various traffic jams caused by a presidential visit to the city, a funeral procession for a Sufi rap star and a full-fledged riot. Along the way, the hero has several chance meetings with his wife, seeing her in a taxi, a bookstore, and lying naked in the street, taking part in a movie as an extra. Meanwhile, Packer is stalked by two men, a comical “pastry assassin” and an unstable “credible threat.” Through the course of the day, the protagonist loses incredible amounts of money for his clients by betting against the rise of the yen, a loss that parallels his own fall. Packer seems to relish being unburdened by the loss of so much money, even stopping to make sure he loses his wife’s fortune as well, to ensure his ruin is inevitable.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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