The director ponders, "Can the human body evolve to solve problems we have created?"

Crimes of the Future is David Cronenberg's first movie in eight years, and its just-released teaser confirms that the Canadian director behind such gems as Videodrome and The Fly has returned to the body horror realm.

The film is set in a world where humans are adapting to a synthetic environment and bodies are undergoing new transformations and mutations. Viggo Mortensen plays a celebrity performance artist named Saul Tenser who, working with his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux), publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements and soon discovers a mysterious group. Their mission: to use Saul's notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution. Scott Speedman and Don McKellar round out the cast.

Crimes of the Future
'Crimes of the Future'
| Credit: Nikos Nikolopoulos/Neon

"Crimes of the Future is a meditation on human evolution," says Cronenberg in his director's statement. "Specifically — the ways in which we have had to take control of the process because we have created such powerful environments that did not exist previously."

He continues, "Crimes of the Future is an evolution of things I have done before. Fans will see key references to other scenes and moments from my other films. That's a continuity of my understanding of technology as connected to the human body. Technology is always an extension of the human body, even when it seems to be very mechanical and non-human. A fist becomes enhanced by a club or a stone that you throw — but ultimately, that club or stone is an extension of some potency that the human body already has. At this critical junction in human history, one wonders — can the human body evolve to solve problems we have created? Can the human body evolve a process to digest plastics and artificial materials not only as part of a solution to the climate crisis, but also, to grow, thrive, and survive?"

Crimes of the Future
'Crimes of the Future'
| Credit: Neon

Cronenberg previously directed a movie called Crimes of the Future at the start of his career, more than 50 years ago, but the filmmaker recently told EW that this new project has no connection to the earlier release beyond its title.

"It really doesn't relate at all," he said. "That was very much an art film and certainly not meant to be a commercial movie at all, very experimental. Really, I've only taken the title because it was an accurate title for that movie and it's an accurate title for the new movie."

Crimes of the Future premieres at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Watch the disturbing teaser for it below.

Want more movie news? Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free newsletter to get the latest trailers, celebrity interviews, film reviews, and more.

Related content: