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Exclusive: David Cronenberg Talks 'Maps To The Stars,' Hopes Viggo Mortensen Will Join Robert Pattinson In Cast

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 29, 2012 at 2:19PM

Having just made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival, David Cronenberg's striking and claustrophobic "Cosmopolis" is riding a wave of buzz. While reviews of the provocative picture have been mixed, champions of the film -- including our own A-grade review from the Croisette -- describe the effort as one of his best in recent years. And part of the buzz is likely largely in part thanks to Cronenberg's unlikely star Robert Pattinson. Known globally as Edward Cullen from the "Twilight" series, with that franchise coming to a close this year, Pattinson is looking ahead and eager to take on new acting challenges. And by most accounts, he passed with flying colors in the edgy "Cosmopolis," a performance should open the eyes of many to the variety of talents he may not get to exercise in the vampire series.
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David Cronenberg, Robert Pattinson, Viggo

Having just made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival, David Cronenberg's striking and claustrophobic "Cosmopolis" is riding a wave of buzz. While reviews of the provocative picture have been mixed, champions of the film -- including our own A-grade review from the Croisette -- describe the effort as one of his best in recent years. And part of the buzz is likely in part thanks to Cronenberg's unlikely star, Robert Pattinson. Known globally as Edward Cullen from the "Twilight" series, with that franchise coming to a close this year, Pattinson is looking ahead and eager to take on new acting challenges. And by most accounts, he passed with flying colors in the edgy "Cosmopolis," a performance that should open the eyes of many to his range and talent, which he may not have been able to fully display in the vampire series.

And evidently the Cronenberg/Pattinson collaboration has been a mutually beneficial experience, as the director and 26 year-old actor are hoping to reteam on Cronenberg's next effort. Titled "Maps To The Stars," Cronenberg confirmed to Playlist contributor Aaron Hillis in Cannes that he and Pattinson were hoping to make this their next picture. And the director also revealed that one of his regulars hopes to be on board as well.

"I asked Rob if he would be interested in playing a particular role in it and he said yes, he would. Likewise, Viggo [Mortensen] is interested in a role," Cronenberg said. "It would be very interesting. This is a project called 'Maps To The Stars' written by Bruce Wagner who is a wonderful L.A. screenwriter."

Wagner also wrote an adaptation of "As She Climbed Across the Table,"  a Jonathan Lethem novel that Cronenberg hopes to make one day for Steven Zaillian's Film Rites shingle. As for 'Maps,' it's a movie Cronenberg tried to make five years ago, but the financing fell through. And the director cautions that the new iteration of this project also has yet to be sewn up financially. 

"It's not a go picture. We have a script that I love that Bruce wrote," he said. "It's a very difficult film to get made as was 'Cosmopolis' actually. Whether I can get this movie to happen, I tried it five years ago, I couldn't get it made, so I still might not be able to get it made."

The film is a dark comedic drama about two child actors ruined by Hollywood's depravity, and Cronenberg adds that "Maps To The Stars" is "very extreme. It's not obviously a very big commercial movie, and even as an independent film it's difficult. 'Maps To the Stars' is completely different [from 'Cosmopolis'], but it's very acerbic and satirical, it's a hard sell."

It's hard to believe, but the internationally-renowned filmmaker has shot every film of his in Canada or elsewhere, never within the United States. That will change if he gets his way on this picture. "Well, 'Maps To The Stars' is an L.A. story and I really felt that is something I could not create on a set in Toronto," he told us. "Whereas the structure of 'Cosmopolis' allows me to create New York on a soundstage in Toronto."

The Canadian-born filmmaker is hoping to make the picture his first U.S. shoot: "I would want to shoot in Los Angeles and I've never shot a foot of film in America," the filmmaker revealed, describing this odd circumstance, despite having spent much time south of the Canadian border. "America is very familiar to me since I was a kid, my father was born in Baltimore. And it's not like I haven't wanted to, but it's just the weirdness of co-productions and so-on and money things, really -- the expense of shooting in some cities in America. So I actively would like to be shooting in L.A. for at least part of this movie, but once again with budgetary problems... I just don't know if I will be able to, but I would like to."

There will be more from our interview with David Cronenberg later today. "Cosmopolis" opens in Canada and the U.K. in June, and later this summer in the U.S. via eOne.

This article is related to: David Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen, Robert Pattinson, Maps to the Stars, Cosmopolis


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