David Cronenberg to Adapt DeLillo’s Cosmopolis, Add Naked Knife Fight

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07/30/2009 2:06 PM |

Delightful news: Don DeLillo’s underrated 2003 novel Cosmopolis is to be adapted and filmed by David Cronenberg.

At first it sounds disastrous, this pairing of the intensely visceral Cronenberg — the director of subjective physiological horror stories A History of Violence and The Fly is sometimes called, to borrow the title of Cosmopolis‘s predecessor, “The Body Artist” — with DeLillo, who deals in iconography and technology, and whose most characteristic passages work to detach ideas from their physical correlatives.

But. Cosmopolis, an allegory of collapsing global financial markets, the instantaneous digital future, and impending ruin, takes place primarily inside a trader’s monitor-studded limousine over the course of an epic ride across midtown Manhattan. Or, put another way: TV screens and cars.

(For the structure of Cosmopolis, incidentally, DeLillo cannibalized a then-unproduced screenplay called Game 6; it was later turned into a not very good movie.)