David Cronenberg's transition to A-list studio filmmaker is complete: according to The Hollywood Reporter, the man who once stuck a vagina under Marilyn Chambers's armpit will direct Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise in MGM's THE MATARESE CIRCLE.
Adapted from the Robert Ludlum novel by WANTED screenwriters Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, THE MATARESE CIRCLE centers on an unlikely partnership between two longtime rival spies who're brought together to bring down an "international circle of killers" called "The Kelly Affair" "The Matarese". Denzel will play Brandon Scofield of the CIA; Cruise is "in final negotiations" to co-star as Russian operative Vasili Taleniekov.
In terms of scale, this will unquestionably be the biggest film Cronenberg has ever directed. Visually, I can't wait to see what he does with this material. How will his icy precision translate to a big-budget action picture? I imagine his film will be the stylistic antithesis to what Paul Greengrass did with the BOURNE series, but I'm wondering about pace. Though Cronenberg has never been a plodding storyteller, he's never moved at a breakneck clip either. Should be interesting to see how he reconciles his controlling tendencies with the commercial demands of a franchise movie.
THE MATARESE CIRCLE was followed in print by THE MATARESE COUNTDOWN. I bet MGM has plans for more than one sequel.