Celebrating David Cronenberg: Hollywood and Beyond

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)

In celebration of Crimes of the Future, a new film by David "Mr. Canada" Cronenberg that will open in North American movie theaters on Friday, June 3, we're looking back at his distinguished career this week.

Filmmaker David Cronenberg recalls getting a phone call from someone asking if he was interested in directing Revenge of the Jedi, as it was then titled. As he told EW in 2018:

"But, anyway, I was asked if I would be interested in considering that, and meeting with everybody, and I said, with the arrogance of youth -- relative youth, anyway -- I said, 'Well, I'm not used to doing other people's material.' And there was like a stunned silence and then 'Click' -- hang up. Basically, that was as close as I came to that."

Cronenberg explains that he wasn't opposed to the idea of working in Hollywood itself, which he proved by agreeing to come on board an adaptation of a novel by Stephen King. Hired by Dino De Laurentiis, he worked with producer Debra Hill and writer Jeffrey Boam.

Click through the gallery below to read comments on each of the films by myself and other Screen Anarchy writers. You can also watch the trailers! Come back tomorrow for a look at Cronenberg in the current century.

Matthew Lee, Michele "Izzy" Galgana, J Hurtado and Matt Brown contributed to this story.

The Dead Zone (1983)
The film is now streaming on HBO Max.

The film screened at the Grimm Up North festival in Manchester, UK, where Matthew Lee wrote about it in our pages back in 2011:

"Like an episode of TV blown up to feature length there's precious little subtext here, just sledgehammer morals and easy melodramatic tropes. … Yet while Cronenberg has no opportunity to indulge his signature moves, the director proves he can do almost as well at straight-ahead entertainment as he can mood or think-pieces."

(Read his review in its entirety.)

More recently, Scream Factory released the film on Blu-ray, prompting our own Michele "Izzy" Galgana to write:

"The genius in this adaptation is multifold with Cronenberg at the helm, assisted by Hill and bankrolled by Dino DeLaurentiis. He sets the melancholy tone early, with Michael Kamen's perceptive score and use of lighting and color.

"He also infused a real humanity and warmth into the film, and as a result, Walken shines in what is probably the warmest role of his career. Cronenberg, too, is far warmer than his usual clinical gaze, no doubt informed by King's text and the brilliant adaptation by Jeffrey Boam."

Read her entire review, including comments on the "fantastic 4K restoration.")

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