Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg is an icon to horror fans of a particular age; in addition to being considered a bona fide Master of Horror, he's also been dubbed both "The King of Venereal Horror" and "The Baron of Blood" by his most ardent fans and followers. Considered both a pioneer and the paradigm of the body horror subgenre, Cronenberg has produced dozens of short and feature films over his career, which spans over 4 decades. And while he's written and directed occasional episodes of TV shows (including the pilot episode of Friday the 13th: The Series) he's never had his own Davide Cronenberg TV series, until now!
The news came out of The Venice Film Festival this weekend, where Cronenberg was honored with a lifetime achievement award. Though previously resistant to producing television, Cronenberg has also been vocal about the evolving nature of filmmaking in the 21st Century. With the collective theater-going experience is becoming a thing in the past, advancements in technology along with new creative freedoms offered by cable networks, the time is finally right for the lauded filmmaker to make this transition. He opened up about his motivation during a panel while noting the changing visual language employed by today's film and TV directors:
"Today TV screens are getting bigger and bigger and therefore the difference between theatre and domestic viewing has become really flimsy. The rule used to be that closeup shots were only done for TV, and not for movies. But today that's no longer the case."
Cronenberg first hooked mature horror audiences with his signature blend of sex and gore in the 1970s with movies like Shivers, Rabid, and The Brood. Horror fans who came of age in the 1980s will remember cult and mainstream hits like Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, and Dead Ringers. In the 1990s, Cronenberg proved he was ahead of the times by exploring the darker side of virtual reality in 1999's Existenz; he also had an unforgettable turn in front of the camera in Clive Barker's Nightbreed (1990) where he played the psychotic psychiatrist Dr. Decker. Cronenberg went on to shock fans on both sides of the horror aisle with the ultraviolent dramas A History of Violence and Eastern Promises in the 2000s. While his output has slowed considerably in the 2010s (which can absolutely be forgiven in the case of such an accomplished filmmaker) 2014's Maps to the Stars was a sleeper hit.
News of Cronenberg's impending TV series comes the same weekend the annual Beyond Fest, which takes place in Los Angeles, announced it will feature the auteur's work extensively. Dubbed "Cronenberg with Cronenberg: A Retrospective of the New Flesh", the festival (which kicks off in late September) will screen many of the filmmaker's most iconic and influential films; Cronenberg will be in attendance for several screening himself in order to participate in Q&As. It's also worth noting that a remake of Rabid recently wrapped filming in Toronto. It's being helmed by twin filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker in a Trunk, American Mary) and stars Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth, and Mackenzie Gray.
While details regarding the content of Cronenberg's TV series are virtually nonexistent at this point, it could signal an impending renaissance for the hugely complex and influential filmmaker. Thanks to Variety for putting this item on our radars.