As with any story involving David Cronenberg saying he’s going to do something, it’s best to adopt a “wait and see” attitude. However, it’s hard not to get excited by the announcement that Cronenberg has signed on to direct an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s As She Climbed Across The Table, even as we’ve been let down before on similar matches-made-in-postmodern-heaven like Cronenberg’s abandoned take on Martin Amis’ London Fields.
Somewhat reassuringly, Cronenberg is definitely all about following through these days—currently helming the Sigmund Freud/Carl Jung drama A Dangerous Method, making overt plans for a sequel to Eastern Promises, and even committing to a cast for his version of Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis. So right now there’s every reason to believe As She Climbed Across The Table will actually happen.
And if it does, it’s a promising match: The novel about a love triangle involving a sociologist, a particle physicist, and a miniature, sentient black hole known as Lack would be the first sci-fi story Cronenberg has tackled since 1999’s eXistenZ, which would definitely be cause for celebration. As Pajiba reports, the idea is to make something akin to Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, i.e. sort of a metaphysical romantic comedy (though, you know, obviously a Cronenberg brand of romance).
There’s no word yet on when Cronenberg plans to start on the film, or whether any of his other announced projects will come first—including his also-announced adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Matarese Circle, which suggests Cronenberg is the sort of guy who goes around licking all the cookies so no one else can have any. This announcement also pits Cronenberg against Edward Norton—who’s been developing Motherless Brooklyn for over a decade, as we touched upon briefly in this interview—to see who can bring a Jonathan Lethem film to the screen first. (Our money is on Norton.)