Monday, March 29, 2010

Viggo Signs on for Cronenberg's 'Eastern Promises 2' & Replaces Christoph Waltz in 'The Talking Cure'

Looks like Viggo Mortensen's retirement was more like just a little time off. He's saving the day for director David Cronenberg, replacing new Oscar® winner Christoph Waltz in the director's The Talking Cure, and that's the first new job he's accepted in well over a year, maybe two. And the news just got better.

According to Playlist Viggo and Cronenberg will be making a sequel to Eastern Promises, which will also mark a return to the scene of the crime for writer Steve Knight. Focus Features has already shown the project the green light and hopes to shoot it next winter. Though the news seems to be coming out of left field, the film has actually been in the works since the spring of 2009.

Naomi Watts's involvement in the sequel is unknown. The big reveal in the film (spoiler follows) is that Mortensen's thug named Nikolai Luzhin is an undercover agent in London, whose dedication to the gig is exemplified by a body painted heavily in esoteric gang tatts and a submersion in several homicides. The film’s graphic and bloody action sequence in a bath house is considered classic for the modern crime genre.

The Talking Cure

Christoph Waltz is playing another psychopath in Water For Elephants. In going for that role, he dropped out of playing one of the most influential Jews in history Sigmund Freud, in David Cronenberg’s The Talking Cure. The film starts lensing on May 17 for 10 weeks. Based on the play by Christopher Hampton, the pic is about the conflict between Freud and his pupil Jung.

Waltz’s departure left the producers scrabbling for a replacement. There were fears they would have to scrap the German/Canadian co-production completely. Happily, Viggo, who worked so memorably with Cronenberg on Eastern Promises, replaced Waltz. Mortensen will star as Freud opposite Michael Fassbender as Jung. Keira Knightley will play Sabina, a disturbed young woman brought to see Jung by her father. Jung and Sabina have an affair, and the producers are promising me “lots of spirited sex” like the sex scene with Maria Bello in Cronenberg's A History Of Violence. Knightly's steamy sex scene in Atonement provides a hint of what we may be in for... only "Cronenberg-style."

Any new collaboration between Mortensen and Cronenberg is always ground-breaking and unpredictable. The film will mark the duo's fourth straight film together; they are clearly relishing their working relationship. The pair are already hard at work prepping The Talking Cure.

Viggo is back in the saddle. Now that's an UberBingo!

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Source: ThePlaylist, Deadline, /Film

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