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Film

David Cronenberg explains why Netflix turned him down

When the news broke that body horror master David Cronenberg is returning to the big screen eight years after the release of his last film, Maps to the Stars, to say that fans were excited is an understatement. 

His new effort, Crimes of the Future, fuses body horror with a dystopian sentiment, and in the run-up to this week’s Cannes Film Festival, it is one of the competition’s most talked-about films, with the trailer released on April 14th, the day of the festival’s press conference. The new flick sees Cronenberg reunite with Viggo Mortensen as well as Lea Seydoux and Kristen Stewart.

Ahead of the festival, Cronenberg sat down with Variety to discuss Crimes of the Future and revealed that he did speak to streaming services about producing it, as financing a film is the hardest part. 

“I’m pretty sure we did talk to Amazon and Netflix for this, and it was not a project they wanted to do,” he said, adding: “And I think my feeling is I really was very interested in the whole Netflix streaming phenomenon, definitely. But I think that they’re still very conservative. I mean, I think they’re still like a Hollywood studio. I thought maybe they would be different”.

The Canadian director continued: “The difference is that Netflix can show very interesting streaming series from Korea, from Finland, and they say it’s a Netflix original, but it isn’t really — it’s something they have acquired. But I think when it comes to their actual production that they do themselves, they’re very conservative. I think they think in mainstream terms, that’s my experience with them anyway.”

Cronenberg then disclosed that he was once working on a Netflix series, but that the streaming giant turned him down: “I tried and we got to two episodes, and then they decided not to do it. And I was disappointed because I was interested in streaming in cinematic terms. I thought that would be a very interesting experience for me as a writer, as a creator, and then also as a director. And maybe I’ll have that experience one day, but at the moment, it’s still on movie making, not filmmaking. So the project that I was talking to Netflix about, it will be a feature film instead.”

Watch the trailer for Crimes of the Future below.

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