Born in Toronto in 1943, with a freelance writer and a dancer for parents and a home filled with books and art, Cronenberg enjoyed an enlightened upbringing, rare for that straight-laced time and place. (Since Louis St. Laurent was Canada's prime minister from 1948-57, this period is known in Canada as the Eisenhower era.) Cronenberg admits that he was not your average tyke. "When I grew up," he told interviewer Chris Rodley in the book "Cronenberg on Cronenberg," "most other kids weren't into watching praying mantises eating grasshoppers." He became known as the Canadian who never went south, an exploitation horror king who revealed himself to be a genuine auteur, a B-movie Fellini who jumped to the A-list while pursuing the very same themes that once saw him reviled in the Canadian Parliament as a public menace.
Scanners spawned five poor sequels, none of which Cronenberg had anything to do with. "I'd have stopped the sequels if I could have, but I had neglected to copyright my idea" he says.