Having departed as the director of Basic Instinct 2, David Cronenberg is back aboard the long-gestating psycho-thriller Spider that is now being financed through MM Media Capital Partners (MCP).

Ralph Fiennes, originally attached to star opposite Miranda Richardson when the film was announced in October 2000 as a UGC production, also remains involved; Richardson's status, however is not known. The story, adapted by Patrick McGrath from his novel, tells of a man's search for the truth about his past. The original budget was pegged at $12m.

Scheduled to shoot this summer in the UK and Canada, Spider would be one of the first SAG-approved "strike" productions, by dint of its backers and shooting locations. Under the guidelines issued by the guilds, foreign national SAG members such as Fiennes can participate in a production so long as it is shot entirely overseas and the production is completely foreign financed. Just as importantly, in terms of being approved by SAG, no distribution rights have been pre-sold to a US company.

The film is being produced through CBL and Artists Independent Network, the London-based production-management company founded by former William Morris agents Charles Finch and Luc Roeg. Catherine Bailey will produce and Roeg will take the executive producer credit. MCP will finance Spider through its London office while its international arm will handle international sales.