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Cronenberg Talks Hollywood And Remake Mania

Ab3

Old Yeller
Validated User
From http://www.fangoria.com/news_article.php?id=4541

August 12: What’s next for David Cronenberg?

Asked the above question while being interviewed about his new movie A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, the director surprisingly responds, “I don’t know. I haven’t got a clue. This is the Cronenberg Uncertainty Principle. I thought I was going to do PAINKILLERS, but I’m not. So I'm looking at different things.”

PAINKILLERS, which was to be Cronenberg’s first original screenplay in eight years, was a thriller set in an alternate world in which sex has been replaced by public surgeries. The director now says, “I’ve decided not to do it, perhaps because of” its thematic similarities to his previous films. “Not because of how it would be perceived, but because it’s in the vein of work I’ve already done. Maybe I’m boring myself with myself,” he laughs.

Those earlier works still have plenty of fans, and have inspired at least one announced remake, a new SCANNERS currently in development at Lions Gate. Asked which of his other movies are planned for revamping, Cronenberg replies, “I think all of them are. I’ve had people say that they were going to remake RABID, SCANNERS, THE BROOD and THE FLY. None of those has emerged yet, as a production. I don’t have any remake rights to THE FLY, but as to the others, I have some say in them. So yes, I’m up for a remake.” But he’s not interested in being directly involved, “other than that I would want them to give me money!” he laughs again.

THE FLY, of course, was a remake itself, but Cronenberg notes that “it was a very different movie. I think [the current remake trend] gets down to the paucity of imagination of the people who are financing the movies. I believe people are having trouble reading scripts. They’ve simply lost that ability. They can’t imagine the movie themselves, so they’re receptive to anything that helps them imagine it. That’s why you now have directors doing little video presentations and storyboard stuff which, to me, is all bullshit. When you start making the film, it becomes totally different anyway. But producers are susceptible because they lack imagination.”

That has led, he points out, to his having difficulties finding backing for his unique projects—and not just recently. “I’ve always had trouble. Even after THE FLY, I still faced obstacles getting DEAD RINGERS made. It’s not really directly related to what you’ve just done, even though that seems to be the popular mythology. They’re pretty down to earth in LA, in weird way. It’s an odd culture. If you do THE FLY, and it’s a number-one hit for three weeks—which it was—and then you bring them DEAD RINGERS, they say, ‘Why can’t you do something more like THE FLY?’ It’s not like they’re blinded by success. So, it really depends on the script. They’re also dazzled by the involvement of a big star. So I suppose if I had told them, ‘It’s SPIDER starring Brad Pitt,’ maybe I would have gotten more money for it—even though he wouldn’t have been the best choice for that part.” And even if HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, which opens from New Line September 30, is a big hit, “I don’t think it would mean that an extreme art film I wanted to make would be easily financed.” Look for our full-length interview with Cronenberg on VIOLENCE in Fango #247, on sale September 20. —Michael Rowe and Michael Gingold






News from Friday, August 12, 2005
 

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
Ab3 said:
I think [the current remake trend] gets down to the paucity of imagination of the people who are financing the movies. I believe people are having trouble reading scripts. They’ve simply lost that ability. They can’t imagine the movie themselves, so they’re receptive to anything that helps them imagine it. That’s why you now have directors doing little video presentations and storyboard stuff which, to me, is all bullshit. When you start making the film, it becomes totally different anyway. But producers are susceptible because they lack imagination.”
I can't say I really disagree.

And the growing all consuming importance of the opening weekend has had a substantial impact on this too.
 

Evan Waters

Talented Amateur
Validated User
Well, these days I believe actually reading scripts is passed off to folks called "readers", many of whom are wannabe writers, and they're not inclined to pass something on and say "this is great" and maybe suggest one or two minor fixes. They want to leave their mark and get noticed like everyone else.
 
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