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Eastern Promises isn’t the first movie that comes to mind when you are asked to name the seminal David Cronenberg films. The Fly, Naked Lunch and even A History of Violence likely come before it. But Eastern Promises remains a rock-solid crime thriller, a continuation of Cronenberg’s outstanding collaboration with Viggo Mortensen that also boasts a memorable turn by the regularly great Vincent Cassel. And it actually was supposed to get a sequel...but Cronenberg now says that’s no longer happening.
The director is on the media circuit this week talking up Cosmopolis, his adaptation of Don Delillo’s novel that casts Robert Pattinson as a limo-riding asset manager dealing with a day’s worth of obstacles, and while talking with The Playlist the filmmaker Cronenberg admitted that while Promises sequel was meant to be his next project it's now dead, “We were supposed to start shooting Eastern Promises 2 in October," Croneberg said. "[But] It's done. ... If you don't like it talk to James Schamus at Focus. It was his decision."
In Schamus’ defense, Eastern Promises only banked $17.2M in the States … which is not exactly sequel dollars. But it added an additional $38.8M overseas, where Cronenberg’s name helps sell tickets and if the director had an idea for a Promises sequel (with the talent ready to return), we’d argue that he deserves the right to tell the story.
Maybe the power of Robert Pattinson will help Cosmopolis to break the bank, and Entertainment One (who has partnered with Cronenberg at the moment) will want to stay in business by bankrolling the Eastern Promises sequel. There certainly are plenty of stories to tell in that environment – though I’m hesitant to talk too much about the Promises plot because it’s rife with secrets and twists that shouldn’t be spoiled here. For now Eastern Promises 2 is dead and we’re left to wonder where Cronenberg will head next.