eXistenZ (1999)

Canada, UK (“A Canada-United Kingdom co-production”),
35mm film, colour, 1.85:1

A Canadian/British science fiction film directed by David Cronenberg.

Plot Summary

Game designer Allegra Geller is demonstrating her new game, eXistenZ to a focus group when the meeting is attacked by an assassin armed with an organic gun. Forced on the run with marketing trainee, Ted Pikul, she worries that her organic gaming pod containing the only copy of eXistenZ has been damaged. She and Ted enter the game to test it but soon lose track of what's real and what's eXistenZ.


Directed by: David Cronenberg
© 1999 Screenventures XXIV Productions Ltd., an Alliance Atlantis company and Existence Productions Limited
Alliance Atlantis and Serendipity Point Films present in association with Natural Nylon. A Robert Lantos production. A David Cronenberg film. Produced with the participation of Téléfilm Canada, Canadian Television Fund, The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, The Movie Network, The Harold Greenberg Fund/Le fonds Harold Greenberg
Produced by: Robert Lantos, Andras Hamori, David Cronenberg
Co-producers: Michael MacDonald, Damon Bryant,Bradley Adams
Associate Producer: Sandra Tucker
Written by: David Cronenberg
Director of Photography: Peter Suschitzky
Editor: Ronald Sanders
Music: Howard Shore
Sound Mixer: Glen Gauthier
Costume Designer: Denise Cronenberg
Make-up Artist: Shonagh Jabour
Hair Stylist: Mary Lou Green
Special Make-up nd Creature Designer: Stephan Dupuis
Visual and Special Effects Supervisor: Jim Isaac
Creature Effects Supervisor: Kelly Lepkowsky
Production Designer: Carol Spier

Jennifer Jason Leigh (Allegra Geller)
Jude Law (Ted Pikul)
Ian Holm (Kiri Vinokur)
Don McKellar (Yevgeny Nourish)
Callum Keith Rennie ([Hugo] Carlaw)
Sarah Polley (Merle)
Robert A. Silverman (D'Arcy Nader)
Christopher Eccleston (seminar leader)
Willem Dafoe (Gas)
Oscar Hsu (Chinese Waiter)
Kris Lemche (Noel Dichter)
Vik Sahay (male assistant)
Kirsten Johnson (female assistant)
James Kirchner (Landry)
Balázs Koós (male volunteer)
Stephanie Belding (female volunteer)
Gerry Quigley (trout farm worker)

Alternative Titles

Crimes of the Future – working title
eXistenZ – Az élet játék – Hungary
Existenz – alternative spelling
eXistenZ: Mundo virtual – Argentina, Mexico
Postojanje – Serbia
Preživjeti igru – Croatia
Varolus – Turkey
Екзистенц – Bulgaria
Экзистенция – Russia

Extracts included in
The Directors: The Films of David Cronenberg (1999)
The History of the Hands (2016)



  • The Cinema of David Cronenberg: From Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero by Ernest Mathijs pp.2, 11, 69-70, 154-155, 173, 196-199, 202, 204-207, 210-224, 236, 245, 250; 282
  • David Cronenberg: Author or Film-maker? by Mark Browning pp.157-177
  • David Cronenberg: Interviews with Serge Grünberg by Serge Grünberg pp.150-167; 192 – illustrated interview; credits
  • The Pocket Essential David Cronenberg by John Costello pp.82-87 – credits, review
  • The Politics of Insects: David Cronenberg's Cinema of Confrontation by Scott Wilson pp.71, 75, 98-105, 107, 172, 173, 184, 188, 195
  • The Modern Fantastic: The Films of David Cronenberg by Michael Grant (ed.) pp.15-19, 22, 169, 177, 179, 182