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

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.