15.5.10

Cronenberg's adaptation of DeLillo's Cosmopolis

Canadian film director tackles Don DeLillo's short but complex novel
Early promotional art for David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis'

Some time ago, David Cronenberg announced plans to adapt Don DeLillo's 2003 novel, Cosmopolis. It has since been confirmed that Colin Farrell and Marion Cotillard are to star in the film, and an announcement in Variety magazine verifies that principal photography will begin in March 2011.

Cronenberg, a Canadian filmmaker known for adaptations of J. G. Ballard's Crash and William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, often brings a distinctive personal perspective to work originally penned by other writers. It's too early to speculate, but I wonder how Cronenberg's and DeLillo's principal thematic interests might compliment each other. For instance, I wonder whether the sense of urban and technological dislocation in Cronenberg's Crash, or the repressed American everyday of his more recent A History of Violence, might resonate quite strongly with DeLillo's themes of urban alienation and economic breakdown.

Cronenberg has always been particularly adept at exploring new borderlines between human identity and emergent consumer technology, especially in films such as Videodrome, eXistenZ, and his 1986 remake of The Fly. His interest technology could prove particularly appropriate to Eric Packer, the billionaire protagonist of Cosmopolis whose identity is  constructed in relation to surrounding technological devices.

It's perhaps too early to speculate on the exact form that Cronenberg's adaptation will take, but there are enough parallels between their work to suggest a hopeful marriage. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.

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