EXCLUSIVE: David Cronenberg, who arrives on the Lido today with “A Dangerous Method,” suspects his dark tale, set at the birth of psychoanalysis, could attract more interest from folks interested in Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung than from his fan base.
“I think fans of ‘The Fly’ (1986) will not necessarily automatically love ‘A Dangerous Method,’ ” said the Canadian helmer who is known for bringing his singularly twisted sensibility to a range of genres.
“But fans of Freud and Jung — they will (love it). And they probably have more fans than I do,” he added.
That said, Cronenberg’s depiction of a real-life “intellectual menage a trois with sexual overtones” between Freud, Jung and troubled beauty Sabina Spielrein — whom Jung beds — does not rep a “big creative departure,” he said.
“In some respects you could say it’s my first straight biopic,” he conceded.
But fictionalizing reality is not new to him. Both “M. Butterfly,” about a French diplomat who falls for a Chinese opera singer, and “Naked Lunch,” which incorporated William S. Burroughs’ life, were based on real people.
“You are trying to resurrect a person, and you are trying to resurrect an era,” he said.
What drew him to resurrecting relatively obscure Spielrein, is that “there are several things, in what became known as psychoanalysis, that really came from her.”
As for Freud, Cronenberg said that, though some consider it passe, his theory is making a comeback.
“The Freudian concept of the unconscious has had huge resurgence, because when they do brain scans they see that what Freud was suggesting really does hold up.”
“Dangerous Method” reunites Cronenberg with producer Jeremy Thomas, following their partnership on “Crash” and “Naked Lunch.”
Thomas showed the pic, budgeted just under $20 million, to Venice chief Marco Mueller in Berlin and decided on a double-whammy Lido and Toronto launch.
Pic has been sold worldwide and is expected to be released Stateside via Sony Classics on Nov. 23. Cronenberg is in post on Don DeLillo adaptation “Cosmopolis,” which, he said, could go to Cannes, and said the script for his adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s “As She Climbed Across the Table” is still being developed.