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David Cronenberg Says 'Twilight' Fans Will Be 'Blown Away' By Robert Pattinson In 'Cosmopolis'

by Oliver Lyttelton
November 18, 2011 4:38 PM
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Cronenberg Pattinson Cosmopolis

Exclusive: With "A Dangerous Method" headed into release next week, thoughts inevitably turn to director David Cronenberg's next film; unusually, the filmmaker shot two pictures virtually back to back, following his period drama with "Cosmopolis," an adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel. And the film hass come with an uncharacteristic level of attention in the mainstream press.

Originally announced as starring Colin Farrell in the central role of 28-year-old billionaire Eric Packer, the Irish actor dropped out in favor of the "Total Recall" remake, and in his place, Cronenberg cast one of the most famous men in the world, Robert Pattinson, who's gone supernova in the last few years thanks to his starring role in the "Twilight" films, the latest of which, "Breaking Dawn Pt. 1," hit theaters over the weekend. The announcement caused horror in some film snobs and Cronenbergites, and delight from Twi-hards, who've taken an unprecedented interest in the project as it gets closer. Now wrapped, it should arrive next year, and when we spoke to the director on his press tour for "A Dangerous Method" in Los Angeles last week, we asked if the actor's fame had given him any pause in casting Pattinson.

To the contrary. "I kind of enjoy that," he told us with a smile. "Frankly, in a weird way, its almost in parallel with Keira [Knightley]. In England she’s got a lot of baggage. It’s not hers, it’s the journalist and the critics, who can be very nasty. I think, for me, you can’t ignore the baggage, but when you’re making the movie, it doesn’t exist. It’s not there. All you’re dealing with is the reality of this person as an actor. And I love that.”

Indeed, the director is fully aware that Pattinson's presence is likely to bring him a new audience, and he's pleased about the prospect. "The excitement around 'Cosmopolis' because of Rob was terrific. It was fun. The idea that these kids, that they really continue to be excited. I’ve said this about Viggo [Mortensen]. If you’re a fan of Aragorn in 'Lord of the Rings' then you don’t have to see 'Eastern Promises,' but if you’re a fan of Viggo as an actor you must see 'Eastern Promises.' And its the same with Rob. If they’re really Rob fans as opposed to Edward...whatever the name of the character is. Rob fans will want to see 'Cosmopolis.' "

And it sounds like fans will be pleased, and the doubters silenced, as the director couldn't be happier with his choice. "He's fantastic in it. They'll see him do things they've never seen him do, believe me. They'll be blown away," he said. "Cosmopolis" doesn't yet have a release date or distributor, but we'd put good money on a debut at Cannes or Toronto next year, before a fall 2012 release.

On the opposite end of the Cronenberg scale, arguably his least accessible film, William Burroughs adaptation "Naked Lunch," was reported a few weeks ago to have a mooted 3D conversion in the works, although producer Jeremy Thomas said that he's approached the director, who was "against it." We double checked with Cronenberg, and he denied ever having heard anything about the plan. "I have never heard that," the filmmaker said. "Where did you hear that? That is news to me."

Coming to terms with the concept, he suggested he's not against it in principle, but found it unlikely that anyone would fund such a process for such a difficult film. "It’s so expensive to convert. 'Naked Lunch' was never the hit that 'The Last Emperor' was [Bertolucci's film is getting the 3D treatment], so I can’t really believe that anyone would [spend the money]. I just talked to Jeremy Thomas, the producer of both movies, like 20 minutes ago and I’ve never heard this before. I’d go for it, but it would probably cost ten times the budget of 'Naked Lunch.' ”

"A Dangerous Method" hits theaters on November 23rd. -

Interview by Jeff Otto

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  • MPV | November 19, 2011 5:40 PMReply

    Amazing the amount of interest this movie gets and all in between while Cronenberg is trying to promote the actual film he will have in theaters a week from now, and it is all because of RP´s level of fame, sure his fame is because of Twilight but his other films had done great considering that they were not as marketed as Twilight is.
    If we speak about the Twilight fanbase, I´m sorry they are not too smart, but the difference between Rob and any other of his costars is the there is a demographic within the Twilight fans that are older than the average teen, and they are actually fans of Rob as an actor and not just Rob as Edward, so that demographic will go see any of his other films as much as Twilight, that is the demographic that carried his other films so far, of course they are not hit like the saga, but how many movies out there with the context that Remember Me had or the one that Water for Elephant have, can make back three times their budget? Specially in a market where those kind of films, sometime don´t get released or they hardly can make any money back.

  • vgh | November 18, 2011 10:01 PMReply

    Remember me made 3 times its budget and Water for Elephants made $117 million on $38million budget, so at least his movies are profitable, and both made their budgets back in domestic box office. How about The Rum Diary? I thought Johnny Depp was a big star.

  • Jimjam | November 18, 2011 9:18 PMReply

    Water for Elephants 58 domestic and 58 international. Based on a New York Times bestselling book with Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz also as leads. Remember Me 19 domestic and 36 international based on a spec script. Both PG-13 and opening on more than 2000 screens. Cosmopolis will be R with a limited release run. Mr. Cronenberg is deluding himself.

  • DELUGE | November 19, 2011 11:08 PM

    LOL @ the female Pattinson fans out here defending their beloved idol. It's actually kind of cute when you come to think of it...

  • Maria | November 19, 2011 2:32 AM

    Well, don't go see the movie and ignore Rob! simple, right? go see the movies of actors you Your Comment

  • Madison | November 19, 2011 1:02 AM

    Water For Elephants was a best seller in the US, not worldwide. They don't even have circuses like that in Europe, Christoph Waltz said Rob helped him understand how it worked because he wasn't used to that kind of circus. Both Waltz and Witherspoon acknowledged that the worldwide success of WFE was due to Rob's participation. Reese said she'd never seen crowds like they had at any other premiere in her entire life and she knew they weren't there to see her. The fact that the film made as much worldwide as it did domestic only speaks to Rob's worldwide popularity.

    Remember Me made much more worldwide than it did domestic. He's an international star, and Cronenberg has a proven eye for talent. The only one deluding themselves is you, Jimjam.

  • paul | November 18, 2011 10:04 PM

    where in that article did you read cronenberg talking about boxoffice? he was talking about robs fans seeing him in the movie. if you read the blogs many of fans are excited to see cosmopolis nothing wrong with that.

  • Jess | November 18, 2011 9:32 PM

    Still made more money than you'll ever see.

  • KT | November 18, 2011 8:51 PMReply

    Okay, all you "RPattz" fans... I see you. So, considering his other movies' weak box office receipts, that means they're, like, 16 of you???

    *I kid, I kid*

  • Educate_Yourself | November 19, 2011 1:07 AM

    Get your facts straight. Neither of Rob's 2 films outside Twilight had "weak" box office. They both made a profit, and for the majority of this year, WFE was the #1 Adult Drama, until The Help was released. Neither one of them was ever going to be blockbuster, they weren't those kinds of films. His fans support his work, as you will see with Bel Ami and Cosmopolis. The majority of his fans are not teens, no matter what the media thinks. And he gained a slew of new fans and male fans with WFE.

  • JimJam | November 18, 2011 9:40 PM

    You missed the point. The Twilight actors have a shelf life. Once those movies end so do their SAG card days.

  • paul | November 18, 2011 8:28 PMReply

    excited for this one. we have back to back cronenberg movies. this movie sounds strange and twisted, so i'm sure cronenberg took it to a new level.

  • @JimJam | November 18, 2011 10:07 PM

    someone sounds bitter. not having a good day?

  • MJ | November 18, 2011 7:14 PMReply

    Exactly. As fans of Rob ofcourse we'll see, maybe the fans of Twilight or Stewart do not see, but rest assured Rob fans will see the movie Cosmopolis. We are very excited about Rob working on a film with a director like Cronenberg as well as Paul Giamanti, Binoche, Morton and actors others

  • medic | November 18, 2011 6:17 PMReply

    this still sugest that Cronenberg knows what he is doing

  • marie | November 18, 2011 5:32 PMReply

    Twifans, maybe not all of them , but Rob's fans, hell yes! As we did for Remember Me and Water for Elephants. So excited for this movie!

  • Jess | November 18, 2011 5:25 PMReply

    Robert Pattinson's movies such as Remember Me and Water For Elephants have done better than any of the other actors from Twilight. So that point is void. People will go see Robert's movies. He has the it factor. You don't see people going to see Kristen's movies. The Runaways, The Yellow Handkerchief, Welcome to the Riley's, Adventureland all flopped, and they all had lots of promotion.

  • Jess | November 18, 2011 7:31 PM

    I was merely commenting on how others brought up Kristen.

    But since you went there, I will continue on. Kristen plays the same character in each movie. She shows absolutely no emotion. Universal wanted an unknown for the role of Snow White. Kristen hasn't auditoned for a role in how long, and they just give them to her because they think they can get the Twilight fanbase to see her movies. Which is obvious that they don't. I have no agenda. Just stating facts.

  • Linds | November 18, 2011 5:44 PM

    I'm sorry but where in this article does it mention anything about Kristen? I'm pretty sure this isn't a competition. Robert is building his career & trying to earn the respect within the industry that Kristen already has, which is extremely smart on his part and I respect him for it. Krstien has been an indie darling for a while now (despite your attempt to knock her down, every film you mentioned garnered her plenty of praise) and yet major studios like Universal & WB have courted her for major high profile films. Why does it need to be one or the other as the 'successful' one? Why not both? You are amusing in your obvious agenda, good luck with that.

  • Tony Fernandez | November 18, 2011 5:18 PMReply

    It doesn't take much for Twi-hards to be blown away given the level of 'acting' in that mess. In all seriousness though, I think this dude (Pattinson) gets the shitty end of the stick. He's actually a good actor who has been dragged down with source material. With the end of Twilight hopefully he can start doing good things. Pattinson, Stewart, Kendrick, Fanning, and the awesome Michael Sheen will do well. The rest of the Twilight 'actors'? Not so much LOL

  • Sean Carraway | November 18, 2011 5:06 PMReply

    Really looking forward to this movie. I saw 'A Dangerous Method' at TIFF and I thought it was decent, with good performances from the cast but it just didn't feel like a Cronenberg film. The storyline to this is more his kind of thing.

    I've never seen any Twilight films so can't comment on R-Patz in those, but I've quite enjoyed his performances in other stuff. The supporting cast here is also very impressive, Paul Giamatti is amongst the finest on the planet, so too is Binoche and Morton.

    I hope this goes to TIFF next year as you state.

  • Jill | November 18, 2011 5:02 PMReply

    Robert Pattinson fans will. Twilight fans won't.

  • KT | November 18, 2011 4:48 PMReply

    Does he think Twilight fans are actually going to watch this movie? 'Cause they sure don't come out for any other Pattinson motion pictures.

  • Jene | November 18, 2011 10:54 PM

    Twilight fans haven't been to Robert's latest films because they had sexual content and violence, and language...that said now that the Saga has been on for at least four years the kids are older and will go and see Cosmopolis. I think comparing Kristen and Rob is ridicules she has been acting since she was 8 and they are both still young. Sheesh!

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