David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises sequel is no longer happening, again

David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg

The sequel to David Cronenberg’s 2007 gangster film, Eastern Promises, is apparently dead—again. Vincent Cassel, who played Kirill in the first film, reveals the revived film has “collapsed,” despite Cronenberg completing the script. If you’re thinking, “Woah, they were still planning on making that?” The answer is apparently, yes.

“[Cronenberg] had a wonderful script,” Cassel tells The Independent. “We were ready to do it and I don’t know why it collapsed. Now I don’t think it will happen anymore.”

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Eastern Promises is the story of a midwife who incidentally uncovers a sex trafficking ring run by the Russian mafia in London. The sequel, at one point called Body Cross, was set to pick up where the first film left off, with Kirill thinking that he and Nikolai have taken over his father’s crime-lord position.

This isn’t the first time a studio has pulled the plug on an Eastern Promises sequel, as Focus Features previously shut down the production in 2012 over budget disagreements with the director. Since then, several new scripts have been penned, with the project reaching different stages of development, but little had been heard about its status for years.

“I really wanted to see Nikolia (Mortensen) go back to Russia, because one of the things I wanted in the first movie was that you see a bunch of Russians in London but you never see them in Russia,” screenwriter Steven Knight said back in 2017, when the film was set to begin production. “In other words, you experience their exile and they are trying to recreate some of Russia within London.”

Cassell is still set to star in another forthcoming project from Cronenberg alongside Crimes Of The Future’s Leá Seydoux. The sci-fi film, titled The Shrouds, follows a businessman and widower who creates a device that enables him “to connect with the dead inside a burial shroud.” The production was originally overseen by Netflix before the company abandoned the series.

“It’s the story of a man who loses his wife. It’s about the incapacity to cope with the loss of a loved one,” Cassel recently told The Guardian. “I never thought he had such confidence in me and I’m really flattered. I told him, ‘David, honestly, I have no idea how I’m going to play this.’ And he said that’s exactly why he chose me.”

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