The actor lived in Russia for several-weeks to research his role, and boy, does he look the part. The great French actor Vincent Cassel ("Hate" & "Irreversible") will also be starring as the boss's out-of-control son, an antagonist that the Mortensen character will have to contend with.
This is going to be worth hitting the theaters for, a rarity these days. What's interesting to note is, while this was being filmed, the Litvinenko affair was beginning to unfold (and still is). Mr. Cronenberg also gave some comments to the London Free Press (an Ontario paper) this weekend about "Robocop" (1987), a film he didn't want to direct, though he enjoyed Paul Verhoven's take on the screenplay.
At one point, Cronenberg was also slated to direct "Total Recall," also picked-up by Verhoven. Strangely--like "Starship Troopers"--nobody seemed to understand that it was a satire of American culture and militarism at the time, oh well.