Acclaimed director David Cronenberg is back with his first feature film in over seven years, and the man who defined the “body horror” genre doesn’t appear to have missed a step. His new film, Crimes of the Future, stars Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings) and has released its first trailer. It will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France this May. The teaser isn’t very long, but it is visually disturbing, for those who need a warning over sensitive images. If the teaser can deliver this sort of freaky imagery, there’s no telling what the film itself will offer.
Crimes of the Future stars Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart. According to a report in Variety, the film will deliver a stomach-churning viewing experience – literally. In a future where humans are adapting to a synthetic environment, bodies are now subjected to new and grotesque transformations and mutations. The films follows performance artist Saul Tenser (Mortensen) and his partner Caprice (Seydoux) as the former showcases the metamorphosis of his own organs in avant-garde performances. Enter Timlin (Kristen Stewart), a National Organ Registry investigator who is after Tenser, and uncovers a mysterious group who wants to use Tenser’s art to trigger a new phase of human evolution.
The film also marks Cronenberg’s return to science fiction after a 20-plus year absence – he hasn’t explored the genre since 1999’s eXistenZ. Some early screenings of the film have been held, and while no official reviews have been posted, word is the film may be his most disturbing yet. Several reports online have quoted someone who saw the film, and states it is vintage Cronenberg. That likely spells bad news for the characters played by Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart. “If people thought Crash was divise (sp) back in 1996, this is going to create way more chaos and controversy for sure,” the source said. “The last twenty minutes are a very tough sit. I expect walk-outs, faintings and real panic attacks…No hyperbole, I promise.” Even director Edgar Wright celebrated Cronenberg’s return in a tweet.
Cronenberg has a history of visually stunning yet disturbing films, including Dead Ringers, Crash, The Fly, Eastern Promises, and A History of Violence, which also starred Viggo Mortensen. The source who saw the film and posted their thoughts online wonders about the reception Crimes of the Future it will get at Cannes. “Seydoux’s role is way too bonkers and RADICAL to contend for a Cannes Best Actress award…but I’d love to be proven wrong. I see no precedent in Cannes for a performance of that caliber/genre gaining momentum with a jury…I mean Seydoux basically plays a (very oft-naked) Gina Pane-like artist of the near future.”
Despite being known for his role as Aragorn in the Academy Award-winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen usually chooses to do smaller, more artistic films over big-budget spectacles. His recent work includes the indie hit Captain Fantastic and the Best Picture Oscar winner Green Book. Crimes of the Future will mark his third film with David Cronenberg. His breakthrough role came in 1985’s Witness with Harrison Ford, in which he played an Amish farmer. He recently directed his first film, Falling, in which David Cronenberg had a small role. Despite his preference for independent film, he isn’t against returning to the role of Aragorn in any sort of follow-up to Lord of the Rings. He stated a willingness to do it again, and although J.R.R. Tolkien did write material for a possible sequel, the new Amazon series (not related to the films) will likely not be the home for such a return.