After financing through the UK's Cobalt Media Group fell apart at the last-minute, David Cronenberg's Spider finally started shooting last week with Capitol Films on board as sales agent and key pre-sells to buyers including Helkon SK for the UK.

The psychological thriller is also being backed by Metropolitan Films in France and tax-based financier Grosvenor Park. The cast of Ralph Fiennes and Miranda Richardson has been rounded out by Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave and John Neville, plus 10 year-old newcomer Bradley Hall. Spider will film on location in and around London for three weeks, followed by five weeks in Toronto studios.

"Spider will be a classic of horror, but not in a supernatural sense: it's personal, earthy, Freudian horror," said Cronenberg.

The director is producing with Catherine Bailey and Samuel Hadida. The project also picked up further executive producers in the turbulent financing process: the roll call now includes Luc Roeg, Charles Finch, Martin Katz, Jane Barclay, Sharon Harel, Hannah Leader, Zygi Kamasa, Simon Franks and Victor Hadida.

Spider is set in the East End of London in the 1970s and present day. Hall plays the young Spider, a deeply disturbed boy who believes his father has brutally murdered his mother and replaced her with a prostitute. Fiennes plays him grown up, when he starts revisiting his childhood haunts and spirals into fresh madness.

"David is very passionate about this project, as is Ralph Fiennes," said Bailey, adding that the film will be complete mid next year.

Cronenberg will collaborate with regulars including cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, editor Ron Sanders and costume designer Denise Cronenberg. Andrew Sanders is production designer.