Cronenberg casts ‘Twilight’ hearthrob as Wall Street vampire

Paul Giamatti and Juliette Binoche will co-star with Robert Pattinson in a film based on Don Delillo’s ‘Cosmopolis’

by Brian D. Johnson

Robert Pattinson is about to enter a new kind of Twilight Zone, courtesy of David Cronenberg. It was announced today that the Canadian filmmaker has cast the vampire heartthrob as a bloodsucker of a different colour—a multi-billionaire hedge fund manager in Manhattan who squanders his fortune betting against the survival of the world economy. The movie is Cosmopolis, a Canada-France coproduction based on the 2003 nouvella of the same name by award-winning American writer Don Delillo.  Pattinson is set to co-star with Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version), Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), and Matheu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly).

Cronenberg appears to be on a roll. After the success of The History of Violence (2005) and Eastern Promises (2007), two Oscar-nominated hits, he has been creeping ever closer to mainstream acceptance, without compromising his singular vision. He recently completed A Dangerous Method, a German co-production about Freud and Jung, starring (in his third role with director) Viggo Mortensen—it will likely open next fall after a festival premiere in Cannes, Venice or TIFF.  It’s always a good sign when a filmmaker has another movie on the go before his last one has hit the screen.

Landing a Cronenberg role is a savvy move for Pattinson, who needs to make the leap from the matinee idol ghetto of Twilight to more mature roles. His is  not unlike the dilemma faced by an aging child star. In his previous non-vampire outing, the romance Remember Me, Pattinson showed the promise of a serious actor, but the film was a dud. Cronenberg is always a class act, and (despite his image as a horrormeister) he’s very much an actor’s director. Colin Farrell had originally been tapped for the Pattinson role, until he opted to star in a remake of Total Recall. And earlier candidates attached to the role of  the female lead included Marion Cotillard and Keira Knightley, who stars in A Dangerous Method.

Cronenberg wrote the script for Cosmopolis, which is described as a “thriller.” In the director’s previous adaptations of fiction—notably Naked Lunch, Dead Ringers and Crash—he has played fast and loose with the source material, bending it to his own vision, so don’t expect Delillo’s work to be transposed too literally. I haven’t read the book. But it appears to have some classic Cronenberg elements, including  some glimmers of Crash.  Here’s how Wikipedia summarizes the plot:

Cosmopolis is the story of Eric Packer, a 28 year old multi-billionaire asset manager who makes an odyssey across midtown Manhattan in order to get a haircut. The stretch limo which adorns the cover of the book is richly described as highly technical and very luxurious, filled with television screens and computer monitors, bulletproofed and floored with Carrara marble. It is also cork lined to eliminate (though unsuccessfully, as Packer notes) the intrusion of street noise.

“Like James Joyce‘s Ulysses, Cosmopolis covers roughly one day of time and includes highly sexed women and the theme of father-son separation. Packer’s voyage is obstructed by various traffic jams caused by a presidential visit to the city, a funeral procession for a Sufi rap star and a full-fledged riot. Along the way, the hero has several chance meetings with his wife, seeing her in a taxi, a bookstore, and lying naked in the street, taking part in a movie as an extra. Meanwhile, Packer is stalked by two men, a comical “pastry assassin” and an unstable “credible threat“. Through the course of the day, the protagonist loses incredible amounts of money for his clients by betting against the rise of the yen, a loss that parallels his own fall. Packer seems to relish being unburdened by the loss of so much money, even stopping to make sure he loses his wife’s fortune as well, to ensure his ruin is inevitable.”




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Cronenberg casts ‘Twilight’ hearthrob as Wall Street vampire

  1. That's odd – cosmopolis may be the least thrilling book on the planet! (Loved UnderWorld!)

  2. the book was so-so, and if cronenberg has made it better more power to him.

  3. The book was a strange read but there are a lot of very "filmable" elements, it's very visual. Cronenberg wrote the screenplay himself. This is a very promising pairing; Robert Pattinson is a much better actor than the Twilight series portrayed. And for heaven's sake, Remember Me was not a dud… it's worldwide gross was over $55 million.
    The "news" about Robert Pattinson starring in Cronenberg's film was announced by Alfama on Jan 6. You're MacLean's, not a tabloid. You can do better than this.

    • …And it only cost 16 million to make;) It was an indie movie, and excellent at that…

      • It was also produced by Robert, who loved the movie so much, he wanted to be sure it got out there.

        • Robert didn't really produce RM in that he didn't put money in it, he was made executive producer just so that he could oversee that the director's vision remained.

  4. I love that David just called Rob up, and asked him if he would like the part. Robert, who want's very much to move on from and shed the image of Edward & Twilight, has been very smart in his up coming choices of movies, to do exactly that, in this case turning down Spiderman, James Bond, and many other more mainstream, peg you in a whole characters, which he never want's to do again…At the same time tough, he has atleast gone through the many scripts sent to him…With the likes though of such a respected director as Cronenberg on the other end of the phone, and Robert being an avid reader, and a fan of Don Delillo novels, though he did miss this book, said; "Yes, and thank you, on the spot…

  5. Smart move by Robert, who is extremely intellegent anyways, (most people, unless fans, do not know he is a brilliant musician/singer/songwriter/composer, with his music on his movies soundtracks, and the piano and guitar having been played since he was 3. Also that he attended college for writing, political writing in particular). This was a definate vote/boost of confidence from David for Robert, who is very shy and humble. David has been known as an actors director, and needs to believe in those actors…It would seem, David had seen Robert's less popular, but more brilliant other movies, and saw something in him,. Aswell, Robert has a wonderful reputation in Hollywood already, among actors, directors and such, for being a very easy-going, hard working actor, who is extremely likable…And of course he has a solid fanbase…This would not matter to David, as 1/2 of those fans probably couldn't even get in to a movie like this, lol. I'm of the other half;) @ 42, and became a fan of Robert's other movies, music, and his beautiful self both outside, but especially inside…

  6. Thank you, David. Robert is one of the nicest guys to come to Hollywood in a long time. He would trade the fame he has, and does not want, for respect anyday…And has such as desire to want to refine his craft and learn more, though i already think he is a natural, because he only want's to act, without all the craziness attatched..His "over-exposure" was never his fault…He had no idea what Twilight would turn into, and coming from England, had never heard of the books. If he had any idea of the frenzy that was to come, he said, "I would have turned and run the other way."

  7. He is such a humble actor, and did not even want to cast for the part of Edward, because, after he reading the first few pages, and saw that Edward was this perfect looking being, he thought, "I am far from perfect, i would never get the role, and be too embarrassed to cast for it ." But his agent insisted he try, and his reason for doing so was to get a foot into American filming, and Kristen Stewart. He got the part, out of 5000 people, pretty quickly…And as much as he appreciates what Twilight has done for him, it has also been a curse, litterally making him a vertual prisoner, because he can no longer go any where without 50+ people/paparazzi in his face, but he has always been a nice guy, or at least just ignore, and move on with the bodyguards he has to have, but wished he didn't…All the best to you Robert and David!!!

  8. lol, sorry for my "story" I did not realize how much i went on…carolyn

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