David Cronenberg Shares How Making Crimes Of The Future Today Enhanced His Over 20-Year-Old Script

After nearly a decade since David Cronenberg’s last feature, The Fly and Crash filmmaker is back with Crimes of the Future. The movie takes him back to his science fiction roots as he imagines a world where “surgery is the new sex” and human bodies are starting to evolve in new ways. The story, which feels like a relevant social commentary for today, was actually written over 20 years ago, and Cronenberg recently shared how the movie might have been different if it was made in the early 2000s instead. 

During CinemaBlend’s exclusive interview with David Cronenberg, the filmmaker spoke about how Crimes of the Future is perhaps different from how it would have been if he had shot the script right after finishing it. In his words: 

Well, I probably wasn't as good a director then, that's possible. I certainly wasn't as experienced, but, then of course, you know, I didn't know Viggo then, we hadn't met. So possibly he wouldn't have been the lead actor in the movie, that would've changed a lot of things. And probably it wouldn't have been shot in Athens, because that's a recent sort of venue that has become financially viable and wasn't 20 years ago, but those are very pragmatic things in terms of the script, it hasn't changed at all. I mean, there was one draft and that was the draft we went into the production with, that didn't change, so the other things are imponderables, you know? Would I have used the same lens for closeups? I don't know. Maybe not. Those are very specific little things though. It might not have changed the overall field of the movie. I don't know.

A big takeaway here is that David Cronenberg apparently didn’t change a single word of his Crimes of the Future script between the time he wrote it and beginning production in 2021 in Athens, Greece. As he shared, there are a few small elements of the film that would have been different if he made it back in the day, including his now-frequent collaborator Viggo Mortensen likely not being involved, the shooting location and perhaps his own improvement as a filmmaker. 

Crimes of the Future was reportedly originally going to be made back in 2003 with both Nicolas Cage and Ralph Fiennes rumored to star as Viggo Mortensen’s role of Saul Tenser, via Science Fiction & Fantasy Chronicles. Later, Cronenberg shared that he had lost interest in the script at the time, and he later met Mortensen following the actor's work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The two then worked together for the first time on A History of Violence

In the context of today, Crimes of the Future works in a new way that might have been seen another way if it was made in the early ‘00s. In 2022, it feels like the movie is speaking to this idea of humans being desensitized in the age of social media, along with the persistent environmental concerns on our evolution of humans. 

Crimes of the Future has been released with an overall mixed response (check out our review of the Cronenberg movie). CinemaBlend also spoke with Mortensen and co-star Léa Seydoux about their thoughts on the meaning behind the movie. Check out the upcoming 2022 movie calendar to see what other cinematic entertainment there is to look forward to following the science fiction release. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.