Netflix Turned Down Iconic Director’s New Sci-Fi Horror Thriller

By Britta DeVore | Published

After becoming one of the first businesses to tap into providing a stream of seemingly endless content for subscribers, Netflix would eventually dip its hands into creating its own movies and TV shows. Over the last decade or so, the platform has delivered hit after hit, signing top-tier directors, writers, and talent to their payroll, and bringing viewers an overflowing wealth of entertainment. Now, The Shrouds director, David Cronenberg, has explained how his critically acclaimed film was almost made into a series by Netflix before the streamer decided to drop it from their docket.

The Shrouds Was Supposed To Be A Netflix Series

Although it sounds like there’s no bad blood between the streaming platform and legendary director, Netflix may be kicking themselves for not moving forward with Cronenberg’s latest project after it garnered a nearly four-minute round of applause following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The director revealed that before turning The Shrouds into a feature-length production, he was working with the entertainment company to make it an episodic TV series. After meeting with two Netflix executives, the first episode of Cronenberg’s vision was given the go-ahead and financed.

Series Failed To Launch

Cronenberg says that after turning the first episode in, things sounded like they were still a go for The Shrouds to receive the small-screen treatment. However, things would soon take a downward turn as, after the second episode was turned in, Netflix decided to go in a different direction. After taking some time to reflect on the experience, Cronenberg says that he came to the belief that Netflix saw him as the real star of the show and not the story itself.

Pivot From Series To Feature Film

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Still, the Scanners helmer knew he had something good with The Shrouds, and knew that it could still pack an emotional punch as a movie. With this in mind, Cronenberg, who also penned the script, set out to make his first project in two years a reality.

Loosely Based On David Cronenberg’s Life

Loosely based on events that unfolded in David Cronenberg’s life, The Shrouds follows an entrepreneur and businessman, Karsh, who’s reeling from the death of his wife. Completely consumed by his grief, Karsh pours himself into a new development plan that he calls GraveTech, a program that allows those mourning the loss of a loved one to watch the decomposition process. Karsh’s invention comes with plenty of raised eyebrows and naysayers, and when his wife’s and several other graves are desecrated, the inventor takes it upon himself to track down those responsible and bring them to justice.

The Shrouds stars Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) as the grieving widower with an ensemble cast that includes Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) and Guy Pearce (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). As for Cronenberg’s connection to the story line, the director says that much of the film was inspired by his thoughts after grappling with the devastating loss of his wife to cancer.

Yet Another Hit In the Cronenberg Canon

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From Crimes of the Future to The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Eastern Promises, and more, David Cronenberg has made it his life’s mission to bring thrilling, exhilarating, complex, and sometimes stomach-churning stories to life on the big screen. While we would’ve loved to see the director work with Netflix on what would have been his first series in decades, it’s still wonderful to know that another mind-bending Cronenberg feature is on its way to cinemas. 

Source: The Hollywood Reporter