Cronenberg Progresses Across The Table

Romance & astrophysics follow Cosmopolis

It's more than a year since we heard the initial rumblings of David Cronenberg working on an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem's novel As She Climbed Across the Table. Since then there's been silence, but it's just been broken with the news that Media Rights Capital (Elysium) have picked up the package, with Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch producing, and Bruce Wagner writing the screenplay.

Lethem's novel involves a physicist, Alice, creating a "nothingness" called The Lack. And if that sounds like it precludes Viggo Mortensen starring, fear not! He can play Philip, whose obsession with Alice matches Alice's addiction to her discovery. It's a weird love triangle between two physicists and a black hole (They can use that as a tag-line on the poster, but we want a credit).

Wagner's CV would seem to make him an odd fit for a Cronenberg project. He wrote Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, but he's also a novelist with Cronenberg previous: Cronenberg served as an executive producer on Wagner's own adaptation of his novel I'm Losing You.

Lethem also wrote Motherless Brooklyn, a novel about a PI with Tourette's Syndrome, which Edward Norton was (and may still be) trying to set up as a movie for some time. Like that book, As She Climbed Across the Table has elements of comedy and thriller and creepy craziness, which ought to make it a perfect Cronenberg fit.

There's no start date or cast yet, but it sounds as if we'll see this before the mooted follow-up to Eastern Promises. Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method is out in February 2012, and should be followed reasonably closely by Cosmopolis.