What We Know About David Cronenberg’s Next Movie, The Shrouds

To the delight of many a cinephile – this journalist included – David Cronenberg, now an octogenarian with five decades of experience in the film industry, made a resounding return to filmmaking with the release of Crimes of the Future last year, having been on hiatus since making 2014’s Maps to the Stars. And Cronenberg’s rejuvenated passion for filmmaking has clearly not abated, as the historically prolific filmmaker is now in the process of making his latest feature, The Shrouds, which began filming on May 8th

When it first became apparent last year that Cronenberg was making a new movie, as it was previously covered here, it appeared that The Shrouds was going to begin shooting in Toronto during March, but clearly, the schedule shifted to May. Subsequent to our reporting, Léa Seydoux, who worked with Cronenberg on Crimes of the Future, pulled out of the project and has been replaced by Diane Kruger in what is likely the leading female role of the movie. Another frequent contributor to Cronenberg’s more recent works, Vincent Cassel, who featured in Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method, will be playing his first leading role for the veteran filmmaker, with a supporting cast that also includes Guy Pearce and Canadian actress Sandrine Holt.

The plot of The Shrouds is typically Cronenbergian in the best way, telling the story of a grieving widower named Karsh (Cassel), who runs a controversial cemetery featuring cutting-edge technology that allows people to connect with their deceased loved ones. Things take a turn when Karsh discovers that several of the graves have been vandalized, and according to the official synopsis, “While he struggles to uncover a clear motive for the attack, the mystery of who wrought this havoc, and why, will drive Karsh to re-evaluate his business, marriage and fidelity to his late wife’s memory, as well as push him to new beginnings.”

As was mentioned in our previous article, The Shrouds is a deeply personal piece for Cronenberg, as he lost his wife of forty-five years, Carolyn Zeifman, in 2017, with the filmmaker himself admitting to the autobiographical nature of this work. This speaks to the confidence that Cronenberg has in Cassel as an actor, because his character will undoubtedly be a narrative vessel for his own experiences with love and loss. Cassel himself divulged to The Guardian that he told Cronenberg, “Honestly, I have no idea how I’m going to play this.” As it turned out, that was precisely what the filmmaker was looking for, which led the French actor to admit to the newspaper, “I never thought he had such confidence in me and I’m really flattered.”

A release date for The Shrouds has yet to be announced.

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