Vincent Cassel says that David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises 2 isn’t going to happen, seemingly the final nail in the coffin of the sequel.
It’s been over fifteen years since the release of David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises and despite rumours of a sequel for over a decade, it seems that Eastern Promises 2 is well and truly dead.
Eastern Promises told the story of Anna (Naomi Watts), a midwife who delivers the baby of a young teenage prostitute who dies in childbirth. After learning that the teen had been forced into prostitution by the Russian mafia, she crosses paths with ruthless crime boss Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and his menacing driver Nikolai (Vincent Mortensen). The film also starred Vincent Cassel as Kirill, Semyon’s drunk and ruthless son, and he told The Independent that Eastern Promises 2 isn’t happening. “[Cronenberg] had a wonderful script,” Cassel said. “We were ready to do it and I don’t know why it collapsed. Now I don’t think it will happen any more.“
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The Eastern Promises sequel was supposed to have picked up where the first film left off, with Kirill and Nikolai inheriting Semyon’s crime syndicate, with Kirill unaware that Nikolai is secretly working as a double agent. Both Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel were expected to return for the sequel, but Cronenberg spoke with JoBlo back in 2012 to say that the project had fallen apart and was “pretty much dead.” Despite that death, Eastern Promises 2 was revived with original screenwriter Steven Knight in 2019, who said that a script had been written and even claimed that production could get underway that year. “It went through permutations in the sense of, how do you follow Viggo?” Knight said. “We’ve been through that and we’ve moved on and now we’re in a position where I will say, ‘watch this space,’ we’re close to getting into production.” The sequel transformed into Small Dark Room, a thriller set in the same Russian mob world with Jason Statham tapped to star, but it’s been a while since we heard anything about that project.
David Cronenberg said that the original plan for Eastern Promises 2 would have involved Viggo Mortensen’s character in Russia. “I really wanted to see Nikolai 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,” Cronenberg told IndieWire. “In other words, you experience their exile, and they are trying to recreate some of Russia within London.“
Vincent Cassel is currently starring alongside Eva Green in Liaison, a high-stakes, contemporary thriller series for Apple TV+ exploring how the mistakes of our past have the potential to destroy our future, combining action with an unpredictable, multilayered plot where espionage and political intrigue play out against a story of passionate and enduring love.