Ron Rosenbaum

Hollywood Hypocrisy: The Case of David Cronenberg

So I’m reading The New York Post‘s “Page Six” gossip column this morning and I almost knocked over my coffee. Here’s the item that did it:

“David Cronenberg, director of the smash Eastern Promises is still mad at writer-director Paul Haggis for naming his 2005 Oscar-winning racial drama “Crash” just nine years after Cronenberg had his own movie called “Crash” about wackos who get sexually excited by car crashes. ‘I’ve told [him] that he was a [bleep]hole basically for doing that. And so have many other people,’ Cronenberg tells Complex magazine. It’s very disrespectful not only to me, but to J.G. ballard who wrote the book…Haggis just co-opted the title…” Haggis had no comment.”

Shame on you for your sanctimonious tone, Cronenberg, you shameless hypocrite. Remember the film you made Dead Ringers, about the strange death of identical twin gynecologists? Your film was ostensibly based on a novelization of the real life case of the Marcus twins in New York City. A novel called Twins. But before the novel came I co-wrote (with Susan Edmiston) an extensively researched non-fiction account of the case called “Dead Ringers” that appeared in Esquire. (and is reprinted in %%AMAZON=0060934468 The Secret Parts of Fortune%%)

Well as it turned out Universal Pictures approached Cronenberg’s production company and told them they had a Danny DeVito comedy called Twins coming out and asked Cronenberg to change his title, and reportedly gave him an expensive sportscar in return for changing it.

And what did he change it to? Our title, Dead Ringers! Without the courtesy of asking.

We spent nearly a year researching the facts of the case that he profited from. So who’s the “[bleep]hole”, “disrespectful” phony who “just co-opted the title” in that case?

You owe me a sports car, Cronenberg.

But it’s not just me. Seriously, this is why nobody respects Hollywood types. They rip off writers who do the creative work and then get into a hissy fit if they feel it happens to them.

As a member of the Writer’s Guild I hope that a strike brings these hypocrites to their knees. I don’t think it’ll happen, but they deserve it.