David Cronenberg says Netflix rejected ‘The Shrouds’ as a series
(Credits: Cannes Film Festival)

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David Cronenberg says Netflix rejected 'The Shrouds' as a series

Following the premiere of his new film The Shrouds at Cannes Film Festival, director David Cronenberg has revealed that Netflix didn’t want to take the story on as a series.

Influenced by Cronenberg The Shrouds follows Vincent Cassel as Karsh, a widower who invents a new form of technology to allow people to watch the decay of their late loved ones in their graves. Supporting cast members include Diane Kruger, who plays Karsh’s late wife, and Guy Pearce.

The film premiered at Cannes earlier this week, where Cronenberg gave a press conference and shared his initial plans for the project to take shape as a series. The director worked with two Netflix executives on a pilot episode, but his collaboration with the streaming service didn’t quite work out.

Cronenberg explained Netflix’s reasoning for rejecting the series, recalling, “They said – and this is a very Hollywood thing to say – ‘It’s not what we fell in love with in the room,'” via The Hollywood Reporter.

“Later, I felt that what they fell in love with in the room was me,” Cronenberg continued, “which was very flattering, but not the script.” Though he had been let down by the streaming giant, the director didn’t want to let go of the project, so he resolved to turn it into a feature film.

“I felt I can’t let this die,” Cronenberg shared, “let’s see if we can turn it into a movie… It could be a series, but it doesn’t have to be.”

The director shot the concept as a movie in Canada last summer, ready to feature in this year’s edition of the southern French film festival. The premiere earned a modest three-and-a-half minute standing ovation, alongside a range of reviews.

On his 2022 visit to Cannes, Cronenberg spoke about the difficulties of film financing and working with streaming services in relation to his last film, Crimes of the Future. Like The Shrouds, Netflix weren’t interested in the feature. Though Cronenberg stated that he was “very interested in the whole Netflix streaming phenomenon,” he concluded that they are “still very conservative” when it comes to producing new projects.

“The difference is that Netflix can show very interesting streaming series from Korea, from Finland,” Cronenberg continued, “and they say it’s a Netflix original, but it isn’t really – it’s something they have acquired. But I think when it comes to their actual production that they do themelves, they’re very conservative.”

The Shrouds is set to receive a cinematic release this autumn, on September 25th. A teaser trailer is out now.