The Crimes of the Future director is still interested in making a streaming series, but says the industry is too focused on “filmmaking, not filmmaking.”
David Cronenberg returns to filmmaking with Crimes of the Future, one of the most anticipated films to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. But if the “Videodrome” director had had his way, his return would have come much sooner.
In a new interview with Variety, Cronenberg opened up about the lengthy process of getting the film’s financing and tried to clarify what he sees as misunderstandings about the process of working with major streaming services.
“I’m pretty sure we spoke to Amazon and Netflix about it, and it wasn’t a project they wanted to do,” Cronenberg said. “And I think my feeling is that I was really, really interested in the whole Netflix streaming phenomenon, definitely. But I think they are still very conservative. I mean, I think they’re still like a Hollywood studio. I thought they might be different.”
He went on to say that Netflix is praised for bringing diverse and often borderline stories from around the world, but he believes the films and shows they produce themselves are much more general.
“The difference is that Netflix can show very interesting streaming series from Korea and Finland, and they say it’s a Netflix Original, but it’s not really – it’s something they’ve acquired,” he said. “But I think when it comes to their actual production, which they do themselves, they’re very conservative. I think they think in mainstream terms, at least that’s my experience with them.”
IndieWire has reached out to Netflix for comment.
While Netflix and Amazon may have passed on “Crimes,” as the director claims, Cronenberg has previously worked with Netflix on a series that made it further into the development process. But Netflix eventually scrapped that project as well, prompting Cronenberg to take it in a different direction. (Another project rumored to be in the streamer’s mix was an adaptation of his 2014 novel Consumed.)
“I tried and we got to two episodes and then they decided not to do it,” he said. “And I was disappointed because I was interested in streaming cinematically. I thought this would be a very interesting experience for me as a writer, as a creator, and then as a director. And maybe one day I’ll have that experience, but right now it’s still about filmmaking, not filmmaking. So the project I spoke to Netflix about will be a feature film instead.”
Neon is bringing Crimes of the Future to US theaters following its in-competition premiere in Cannes on June 3.