David Cronenberg‘s amazing London-set Russian gangland tale Eastern Promises remains one of the better modern mob tales. It sounds like we’ll finally be getting a sequel if this production update we’ve discovered is true.
The mysterious and charismatic Russian-born Nikolai Luzhin is a driver for one of London’s most notorious organized crime families of Eastern European origin. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood. Headed by Semyon, whose courtly charm as the welcoming proprietor of the plush Trans-Siberian restaurant impeccably masks a cold and brutal core, the family’s fortunes are tested by Semyon’s volatile son and enforcer, Kirill, who is more tightly bound to Nikolai than to his own father. But Nikolai’s carefully maintained existence is jarred once he crosses paths at Christmastime with Anna Khitrova, a midwife at a North London hospital. Anna is deeply affected by the desperate situation of a young teenager who dies while giving birth to a baby. Anna resolves to try to trace the baby’s lineage and relatives. The girl’s personal diary also survives her; it is written in Russian, and Anna seeks answers in it. Anna’s mother Helen does not discourage her, but Anna’s irascible Russian-born uncle Stepan urges caution. He is right to do so; by delving into the diary, Anna has accidentally unleashed the full fury of the Vory. With Semyon and Kirill closing ranks and Anna pressing her inquiries, Nikolai unexpectedly finds his loyalties divided. The family tightens its grip on him; who can, or should, he trust? Several lives - including his own - hang in the balance as a harrowing chain of murder, deceit, and retribution reverberates through the darkest corners of both the family and London itself.
A new production update seemingly reveals that the sequel will be titled Body Cross which is likely referring to the coded tattoos Russian mafia members place on their body revealing their status within the syndicate, convicted crimes, and their personal story. The film is seemingly not only back on the table but is said to be shooting in London sometime this March.
UPDATE: Production Weekly had also recently listed Body Cross as well.
This information doesn’t reveal if director David Cronenberg along with actors Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel will be returning for the production. Although, last we heard all three were expected and happy to return.
The group doesn’t currently have any upcoming projects listed that could help support them returning for Body Cross.
A sequel indeed was in development by David and screenwriter Steve Knight but Focus Features’ James Schamus had been said to be behind the film’s delay and ultimate death according to Cronenberg in 2012 (via ThePlaylist).
When we asked Cronenberg what he had coming up next, the filmmaker said bluntly, “It was supposed to be ‘Eastern Promises 2.’ But that’s dead.”
And it looks like it’s not come from the director or casts’ end, but instead a studio reluctant to give the green light. “We were supposed to start shooting ‘Eastern Promises 2’ in October,” Cronenberg said, still sounding frustrated and in disbelief. “[But] It’s done… If you don’t like it talk to James Schamus at Focus. It was his decision.”
Perhaps, they’ve had a second thoughts on not moving forwarded with it after the success of films like Sicario.
SOURCE: MY ENTERTAINMENT WORLD