×

Cannes: Brandon Cronenberg Sets Sci-Fi Epic ‘Dragon’ as Sophomore Feature (EXCLUSIVE)

Canadian director Brandon Cronenberg is teaming up with Marvel Comics writer Dan Abnett on epic sci-fi thriller “Dragon.” Cronenberg’s sophomore feature, “Dragon” will be produced by Luc Roeg’s Independent and Martin Katz’s Prospero Pictures, with Independent already exploring the story’s potential beyond film.

“‘Dragon’ connects to a certain kind of hallucinogenic sci-fi tradition, like an adaptation of an imagined Philip K. Dick novel,” said Cronenberg, who is son of veteran director David Cronenberg. “I’m thrilled to be working with Dan Abnett on this, exploring the pleasures of space horror in a satirical and at times psychotic universe.”

Set in the near future, “Dragon” envisions a society radically changed as a result of discovering ancient organic lifeforms drifting through the cosmos, whose alien biochemistry has been processed to create a hugely profitable drug that acts as an “opiate of the masses.” The film follows a captain and her crew as they hunt these “dragons” in deep space, seeking to secure a comfortable future.

Cronenberg will co-write the project with Abnett, who co-created Marvel’s new iteration of “Guardians of the Galaxy” in 2008, which became the source material for James Gunn’s hit movie franchise.

Producer Philip Herd said that Independent is already in discussions with VR companies for related content. “The world that Brandon and Dan are creating is incredibly rich,” says Herd. “There are immense opportunities to continue exploring it. While storytelling for the cinema is our focus, we are considering how we can work in complementary media to support the core cinematic work.”

The U.K.-Canada co-production is being developed with support from Telefilm Canada and is expected to start shooting in mid-2018.

Cronenberg’s debut feature, “Antiviral,” saw its world premiere in 2012’s Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Inside the Spider-Man Split: Finger-Pointing and Executive Endgames

    Spider-Man’s neighborhood has been decidedly unfriendly this week. A private and contentious battle over the onscreen future of the beloved Marvel superhero has spilled out into the public square over the past few days. After making nice for two wildly successful films, Sony Pictures, which holds the licensing rights to the Marvel character, will go [...]

  • Variety Announces 10 Actors to Watch

    Variety Announces 10 Actors to Watch for 2019

    Variety has announced its 10 Actors to Watch for 2019, an honor the publication has bestowed since 1998. Past honorees include many future Oscar winners and nominees, such as Mahershala Ali, Timothée Chalamet, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o and Melissa Leo. This year’s honorees will be feted in the Oct. 27 issue of [...]

  • August Maturo

    Film News Roundup: August Maturo to Star in Horror Movie 'Slapface'

    In today’s film news roundup, August Maturo gets a starring role and “Death of Me” and “Fatale” find homes. CASTING “Girl Meets World” star August Maturo has been cast as the lead character in the upcoming indie horror feature, “Slapface.” Maturo will play a boy who deals with the loss of his mother by creating [...]

  • Dan Trachtenberg

    Tom Holland's 'Uncharted' Movie Loses Director

    Dan Trachtenberg has exited the director’s chair for Sony’s “Uncharted” movie starring Tom Holland, with the studio taking meetings with top filmmakers and production starting early next year. The studio confirmed Trachtenberg’s departure Thursday. It also said Sony-based PlayStation Productions — headed by Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan — had come on to produce alongside [...]

  • Participant Taps Anikah McLaren, Robert Kessel

    Participant Taps Anikah McLaren, Robert Kessel to Head Film Department

    Participant Media has named industry veterans Anikah McLaren and Robert Kessel as co-heads of the company’s film department with the titles of executive vice president. Both executives will report together to Participant CEO David Linde, who made the announcement Thursday. McLaren joins Participant having most recently served as a production executive for Fox Searchlight Pictures. [...]

  • 'The Son' Review: Bosnian Family Drama

    Sarajevo Film Review: 'The Son'

    It is a mixed blessing to be born in the aftermath of a war. On the one hand, you never have to experience the terror and suffering your parents did; on the other, you grow up with your own personal crises forever made to feel smaller by comparison. That, at least, is the frustration driving [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: Jennifer Lopez 'Hustlers' Heading for $25 Million Launch

    STX Entertainment’s “Hustlers,” a comedic thriller about strip-club employees seeking revenge, is expected to earn $25 million when it opens on Sept. 13, according to early tracking. The movie — starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Cardi B and Lizzo — will debut alongside Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch.” The drama, based on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content