Sigmund Freud Gets Cast: Christoph Waltz's Loss Is Viggo Mortensen's Gain

UPDATES ‘Basterd’ Christoph Waltz To Play Circus Nazi

From Deadline|London editor Tim Adler: viggo_mortensenRemember Mike Fleming’s story last month about Christoph Waltz, who won the Best Actor Oscar on Sunday for his portrayal of a Jew-hunting Nazi, being lined up to play another psychopath in Water For Elephants? Well, it turns out that in going for that role, he dropped out of playing one of the most influential Jews in history. Waltz was going to star as Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg’s The Talking Cure, due to start filming on May 17 for 10 weeks. Based on the play by Christopher Hampton, the pic is about the conflict between Freud and his pupil Jung.

Waltz’s departure left the producers scrabbling for a replacement. There were fears they would have to scrap the German/Canadian co-production completely. “You’d have thought Waltz wouldn’t want to be typecast as a sadist,” one of the filmmakers grumbled to me. Happily, Viggo Mortensen, who worked so memorably with Cronenberg on Eastern Promises, has just replaced Waltz. Mortensen will star as Freud opposite Michael Fassbender as Jung. Keira Knightley will play Sabina, a disturbed young woman brought to see Jung by her father. Jung and Sabina have an affair, and the producers are promising me “lots of spirited sex”. (Viggo had that other spirited sex scene with Maria Bello in Cronenberg’s A History Of Violence.)

If the movie’s going to be as hot as the producers hope, I can’t help but think that as a title The Talking Cure is a little flaccid. Surely the filmmakers can come up with something better?

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