Few filmmakers have mastered a corner of their craft as wholly as David Cronenberg has over the realm of "body horror," with his name being the first to come to mind when audiences think of the subgenre. While recent years have seen him pivot away from the horror realm, without ever having to restrain his ambitious filmmaking sensibilities, actor Viggo Mortensen recently teased that he'll be collaborating with Cronenberg on an upcoming project, hinting that it will likely return to the filmmakers' "origins" of the body-horror genre. The pair previously worked together on the films Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, and A Dangerous Method.
"We do have something in mind. It's something he wrote a long time ago, and he never got it made," Mortensen explained to GQ. "Now he's refined it, and he wants to shoot it. Hopefully, it'll be this summer we'll be filming. I would say, without giving the story away, he's going maybe a little bit back to his origins."
When asked for confirmation if this meant the realm of "body-horror," Mortensen confirmed, "Yeah, it's very interesting. It's almost like a strange film noir story. It's disturbing and it's good, I think. But since his origins, he's obviously developed in terms of technique and self-assurance as a director."
While Cronenberg's early films tackled all manner of subjects, from mutated, killer children to telepathic warfare, one consistent is that his visual effects were not only the most disturbing, but some of the most realistic, setting the standard for the genre that even contemporary filmmakers have aimed to live up to. Even the filmmaker's collaborations with Mortensen delivered some truly gruesome effects, despite not being traditional horror or sci-fi films.
Interestingly, Cronenberg himself previously claimed he was done with the horror world.
"Probably not. I've never really resisted that. I've been offered many projects and so on, and they just seemed to be a repetition basically of what I'd done already, so that's not interesting," Cronenberg shared when he was asked about returning to horror by Entertainment Weekly back in 2018. "I think the reason that I started to evolve away from straight horror was just because, instead of being liberating, which it was in the beginning, and it's a genre that really is capable of delivering a lot more than just scares if it's done by really talented people, but I think I found that it was becoming restrictive rather than liberating. So I think in all my films there is still the texture of that underneath everything, but I don't really see myself going back to that. But you never know, you never know."
Whatever project Cronenberg might be developing with Mortensen, it will surely excite fans of the director.
Would you like to see Cronenberg make a new horror movie? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!