IMDb > eXistenZ (1999)
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eXistenZ (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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eXistenZ -- Jennifer Jason Leigh stars as a game designer who creates a virtual-reality game that taps into the players' minds.


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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
David Cronenberg (written by)
View company contact information for eXistenZ on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 April 1999 (USA) See more »
Play it. Live it. Kill for it. See more »
A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Play it. Live it. Kill for it. See more (530 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Allegra Geller

Jude Law ... Ted Pikul

Ian Holm ... Kiri Vinokur

Willem Dafoe ... Gas

Don McKellar ... Yevgeny Nourish

Callum Keith Rennie ... Hugo Carlaw

Christopher Eccleston ... Seminar Leader

Sarah Polley ... Merle
Robert A. Silverman ... D'Arcy Nader

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

Directed by
David Cronenberg 
Writing credits
David Cronenberg (written by)

Produced by
Bradley Adams .... co-producer
Damon Bryant .... co-producer
David Cronenberg .... producer
Andras Hamori .... producer
Robert Lantos .... producer
Michael MacDonald .... co-producer
Sandra Tucker .... associate producer
Original Music by
Howard Shore 
Cinematography by
Peter Suschitzky 
Film Editing by
Ronald Sanders 
Casting by
Deirdre Bowen 
Production Design by
Carol Spier 
Art Direction by
Tamara Deverell 
Set Decoration by
Elinor Rose Galbraith 
Costume Design by
Denise Cronenberg 
Makeup Department
Carol Davidson .... assistant makeup artist
Stephan Dupuis .... special makeup designer
Réjean Goderre .... hair stylist: Ms. Leigh (as Rejean Goderre)
Mary-Lou Green-Benvenuti .... hair stylist (as Mary Lou Green)
Debra Hawkes .... assistant hair stylist
Shonagh Jabour .... makeup artist
Micheline Trépanier .... makeup artist: Ms. Leigh (as Micheline Trepanier)
Doug Morrow .... special makeup effects lab technician (uncredited)
Adrian Stansfield .... creature effects painter (uncredited)
Production Management
Michael MacDonald .... production manager
Tammy Quinn .... assistant production manager
Lori A. Waters .... post-production supervisor (as Lori Waters)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Penny Charter .... second assistant director
Cassandra Cronenberg .... third assistant director
Walter Gasparovic .... first assistant director
Kirsteen McLean .... third assistant director
Leo Scherman .... trainee assistant director
Art Department
John Bannister .... key scenic artist
Jerry Beaudrow .... carpenter
Gordon Becker .... assistant head carpenter
Dexter Bonaparte .... set dresser
J. Tracy Budd .... lead man (as Tracy Budd)
Flavian Bulfon .... carpenter
Kerry Bullis .... laborer
Jean-Pierre Charbonneau .... head carpenter
Dan Christov .... laborer
Janet Cormack .... scenic artist
Joe Curtin .... construction coordinator
Kevin Curtin .... carpenter
Scott Donais .... scenic artist
Danielle Fleury .... assistant set decorator
Christopher Geggie .... property master (as Chris Geggie)
Jason Graham .... art department trainee
Arvinder Grewal .... first assistant art director
Kevin Haeberlin .... on-set dresser
Paul Jefferson .... carpenter
Marc Kuitenbrouwer .... assistant head carpenter
Jacques Lamarre .... carpenter
Sabri Lariani .... lead carpenter
Mari Laughlen .... assistant property master
Rupert Lazarus .... second assistant art director
Alois Ledinek .... on-set carpenter
Peter Legault .... assistant head carpenter
Carole Lord .... scenic artist
Michael Madden .... first assistant art director
Stephen Magill .... carpenter
Bradley McInnis .... scenic artist
Richard McStay .... assistant head carpenter
Melissa Morgan .... head painter
Peter P. Nicolakakos .... buyer
Brian Patrick .... property assistant
Jim Peters .... greensman
Dusty Reeves .... art department coordinator
Paul Renaut .... lead man
Doug Rennie .... scenic artist
Mila Rolicz .... scenic artist
Sam Santoro .... laborer
Michael Smolski .... carpenter
Mark Stafford .... on-set painter
Robert H. Steiner .... construction cost administrator (as Robert Steiner)
Kim Wagner .... additional food preparation (uncredited)
Sound Department
Eric Apps .... adr recordist
Tom Bjelic .... sound effects editor
Gregory Martin Clayton .... cable operator (as Greg Clayton)
Ed Colyer .... adr mixer
Graham Daniel .... re-recording mixer
Joseph Doane .... assistant sound effects editor
David Evans .... supervising sound effects editor
Glen Gauthier .... sound mixer
Paul Germann .... assistant sound effects editor
Mark Gingras .... adr editor
Mark Gingras .... dialogue editor
Wayne Griffin .... supervising dialogue editor
Punam Khosla .... assistant sound effects editor
Goro Koyama .... foley artist
John Laing .... dialogue editor
Mishann Lau .... assistant dialogue editor
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Ron Malligers .... foley mixer (as Ron Mellegers)
Ray Merrin .... re-recording mixer
Lyle Scott-Darling .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Paul Shikata .... sound effects editor
Steve Switzer .... boom operator
David Tyler .... assistant adr mixer
Tony van den Akker .... foley mixer
Nick Watson .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby, UK
Rebecca Wright .... foley assistant
Sharon Zupancic .... foley assistant
Gren-Erich Zwicker .... assistant dialogue editor
Ryan Shore .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Warren Appleby .... floor effects
Damon Bishop .... special effects technician
Alisa Brooks .... special effects technician
Brandon Cronenberg .... special effects technician
Stephan Dupuis .... creature designer
Stephan Dupuis .... special makeup
James Isaac .... special effects (as Jim Isaac)
John Jackson .... special effects technician
Patrice Jacques .... special effects technician
Frances James .... special effects technician
Michael Kavanagh .... floor effects
Alex Laverick .... special effects technician
Serge Lavigueur .... special effects technician
Kelly Lepkowsky .... creature effects supervisor
Tim Lidstone .... special effects technician
David Loveday .... special effects technician
Jay McClennen .... special effects technician
Ryan Nicholson .... special effects technician
Dennis Pawlik .... special effects technician
Evan Penny .... special effects technician
Jim Reischl .... special effects technician
Dawn Rivard .... special effects
Sean Sansom .... special effects technician
Patrick Tenasco .... special effects technician
Daniel White .... floor effects
Michael Kavanagh .... mechanical effects coordinator (uncredited)
Derek Liscoumb .... special effects technician (uncredited)
John MacGillivray .... rigging key, special effects technician (uncredited)
Scott Maple .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Jim Peacock .... special effects prop builder (uncredited)
Jeff Skochko .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Jerry Andrews .... motion control specialist: Toybox
Alex Boothby .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
Jeff Campbell .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
John Coldrick .... compositor: opening titles
Kenn Elliott .... additional scanning: Toybox
Mike 'Fuzzy' Ellis .... digital film supervisor: Toybox (as Mike Ellis)
Raymond Gieringer .... 3D animator: Toybox
Mark Goldberg .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
Derek Grime .... 3D animator: Toybox
Rob Gyorgy .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
James Isaac .... visual and special effects supervisor (as Jim Isaac)
Shawn Maher .... camera operator: Toybox
Michael Manza .... 3D animator: Toybox
Jesh Murthy .... 3D animator: Toybox
Josa Leah 'SDB' Porter .... in-house coordinator: Toybox
Paul Rigg .... digital effects compositor: Toybox
Jim Rutherford .... lead 3D creature animator: Toybox
Ralph Sevazlian .... 3D animator: Toybox
Chris Stoyan .... motion control grip: Toybox
Andy Sykes .... executive producer: Toybox
Tony Willis .... motion control supervisor: Toybox
Emily Wong .... production coordinator: Toybox
Nelson Lik-wai Yu .... 3D technical support: Toybox
Kenn Elliott .... film assistant: Toybox (uncredited)
Peter Cox .... stunts
Jamie Jones .... stunts
Alison Reid .... stunt coordinator
Alison Reid .... stunts
Regan Moore .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Billy Oliver .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jonathan Billings .... dolly grip
Don Cochrane .... electrician
Christopher Dean .... key grip
Ava Gerlitz .... still photographer
Dianne L. Haggarty .... grip (as Dianne Haggarty)
Michael Hall .... first assistant camera
Jeff Heintzman .... best boy grip
Robert Hicks .... best boy
Vanessa Ireson .... second assistant camera
Delroy P. Jarrett .... electrician (as Delroy Jarrett)
Chris Kalbfleisch .... camera trainee
Martin Lake .... grip
Philip Lanthier .... grip (as Philip 'Buck' Lanthier)
Jim MacCammon .... electrician (as James MacCammon)
Steven Morrisson .... rigging gaffer (as Steve Morrisson)
David Moxness .... gaffer
Andrew W. Peart .... video playback operator (as Andrew Peart)
Adam Pill .... grip
Michael Plant .... generator operator
Peter Suschitzky .... camera operator
Frank Teunissen .... rigging grip
Mark D. Acheson .... grip (uncredited)
Cinar Eryasar .... electrician (uncredited)
Clement Lush .... tape operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Elizabeth Gray .... casting assistant
Eleanor Lavender .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Christina Cattle .... assistant costume supervisor
Brenda Gilles .... costume supervisor
Christopher Hargadon .... assistant costume designer (as Chris Hargadon)
Lisette Lefevre .... seamstress
Angie Vastagh .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Christopher Donaldson .... first assistant editor: film
Gary Fluxgold .... first assistant editor: film
Andrew MacRitchie .... assistant editor: UK
Aaron Marshall .... trainee assistant editor
Sean Moriarity .... post-production assistant
Ricardo Olivero .... color timer
Catherine Rankin .... negative cutter
Tad Seaborn .... first assistant editor: avid
Peter Watson .... first assistant editor: film
Pierre Cadieux .... dailies colorist: second unit (uncredited)
Bill Holley .... colorist (uncredited)
Location Management
Debra Beers .... location manager
Beverley Kolbe .... assistant location manager
Mark Logan .... location scout
James Steven .... location production assistant
Music Department
Nancy Allen .... associate music editor
Rowan Collier .... assistant music recording engineer
Robert Cotnoir .... score mixer
Jennifer L. Dunnington .... assistant music editor (as Jennifer Dunnington)
Dan Evans Farkas .... music editor
Isobel Griffiths .... music contractor
Lydia Kavina .... musician: theremin
Dick Lewzey .... music recording engineer
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Howard Shore .... conductor
Howard Shore .... orchestrator
Ryan Shore .... music copyist
Susan Shufro .... assistant music editor (as Sue Shufro)
Ruth Cornes .... orchestra contractor: LPO (uncredited)
Chris Cozens .... auricle control systems (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Matthew Garland .... driver
Bill Hagan .... transportation captain
Richard Higgins .... driver
Bill Leeking .... head driver
Don Morley .... driver
Joe Norris .... driver
Dave Puddister .... driver: construction department
Don Retzer .... transportation coordinator
Brad Winans .... driver
Dean Wittaum .... driver
John Bekavac .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
John 'Frenchie' Berger .... gun wrangler
Deanna Bolton .... assistant: Mr. Hamori
Bruce Buchanan .... technical advisor
Mark Bukator .... production accountant
Cherri Campbell .... executive assistant to Robert Lantos
Jane Conway .... animal wrangler
Robert Cotnoir .... synclavier programmer
Tony Desmond .... assistant production accountant
Katherine Doyle .... accountant: special effects unit
Prudence Emery .... unit publicist
Tammy Fitzgerald .... stand-in: Ms. Leigh
Andrea Franks .... assistant production coordinator
Vic Fraser .... librarian
David Garnett .... office assistant
Simon Goldberg .... legal services: Natural Nylon, UK
Anthony F. Grani .... office assistant (as Anthony Grani)
Bob Hall .... shop foreman
Tomas Hartl .... purchasing agent
Linda Kang .... assistant: Mr. Hamori
Lacia Kornylo .... head of production: Alliance Atlantis
Jeff Krebs .... technical advisor: avid (as Jeffrey Krebs)
Jeff Kulbak .... finance
Margaret Lee .... assistant title designer: opening titles
Luz Magcawas .... payroll clerk
Kevin Mahonchak .... copyist
Rafal Mickiewicz .... stand-in: Mr. Law
Cathy Moore .... studio manager
John Nelles .... dialect coach
Robert Pilichowski .... title designer: opening titles (as Rob Pilichowski)
Teresa Rogers .... production legal affairs
Andrew Rosen .... production assistant: Alliance Atlantis
Dug Rotstein .... script supervisor
Marlene Schmidt .... producer: opening titles
Elizabeth Senyi .... production coordinator (as Elizabeth Senyi-Potechin)
Tracey Seward .... head of production: Natural Nylon
Adam Shaheen .... executive producer: opening titles
Kitty Stanbrook .... production coordinator: Natural Nylon
Vay Trong .... post-production accountant
Ben Tucker .... office manager
Andrea Wood .... business and legal affairs: Alliance Atlantis
Ray McMillan .... rear projection supervisor (uncredited)
Nick Veziris .... gun wrangler (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects
  • Toybox (digital visual effects)
Other Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong sci-fi violence and gore, and for language
97 min | 115 min (workprint version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Despite the fact that this was filmed in the standard spherical format, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.See more »
Continuity: The first time we see Ted Pikul at the trout farm, he labels an envelope with the letters LA. The L is clearly connected to the A. However in the next shot with the envelope on the conveyor belt the L and A are no longer connected.See more »
[first lines]
Seminar Leader:eXistenZ. Written like this. One word. Small 'E', capital 'X', capital 'Z'. 'eXistenZ'. It's new, it's from Antenna Research, and it's here... right now.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in On War (2008)See more »


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40 out of 75 people found the following review useful.
Play it. Live it. Kill for it., 10 April 2003
Author: Old Joe from Hamilton, Australia

The way you pronounce the name of this film is a little different. The story that is shown is certainly different, and after you have seen it, you will say it is movie that is definitely different in almost every aspect. Of course, I am talking about the 2000 sci-fi thriller, 'eXistenZ', which shows that going into the world of 'virtual reality', can be weird and dangerous. 'eXistenZ' also proves that virtual reality' can be a world that one cannot be sure of being in or out of.

During the first closed-door demonstration of an amazing new virtual reality game - called 'eXistenZ' - the system's brilliant designer, Allegra Geller, is violently attacked by a crazed assassin intent on killing her and destroying her creation. Forced to flee into hiding, Allegra enlists the help of young marketing trainee, Ted Pikul, to help her test the damaged system, by convincing him to join her inside a game of eXistenZ. The action then explodes as their world's real-life dangers begin to merge with the fantasy of the game.

This film has a most unique and unusual story, but in a good way. I have read on the internet, that eXistenZ 'makes the Matrix look like child's play', and I would have to agree. What I will say about this film's story, is that it gives the impression that its audience will understand where it actually is, and that they will believe who someone is, is truly that person, and that they are on a level par. I guess that is what is most inventive about the film, to make what is seemingly so true, to be actually not true at all. The writer/director of eXistenZ, David Cronenberg (from 'the Fly'), wrote a most inventive screenplay, that I am sure you will not see in along time.

This movies lead actors are Allegra Gellar (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Ted Pikul (Jude Law). The pair share a most unique chemistry onscreen, as we see their game characters doing some very weird and wacky things as they keep going deeper and deeper into the game of 'eXistenZ' they are playing. I love the way that both Leigh and Law turn this movie into a very erotic kind of an experience to watch. Allegra says this is all part of the game and that the pair should not give into any of these so called 'bits'. I must mention that Jude Law suits this kind of movie genre. Law has also been a part of the Steven Spielberg movie 'AI', which was another unique movie that I did not mind.

The supporting cast of this film was also good. I like how we get to meet the guy at the gas station who affectionately known as Gas (Willem Defoe). The role that he took on in this film suits him down to the ground. However, I thought that his role of the 'Green Goblin' in the 2002 blockbuster 'Spiderman' was ordinary to say the least. Other supporting cast members include Kiri Vinokur (Ian Holm), the strange man at the trout factory Yevgeny Nourish (Don McKellar) and the Chinese waiter (Oscar Hsu).

I also like the way this movie looks. The 'virtual reality' world created for 'eXistenZ' looks so weird and wonderful, that part of me feels that I might be tempted to play the game. Then the creation of the funny creatures in the movie, the funny pods that are used to play the game and the surprise in the 'special' Chinese meal are interesting to see as we go further and further into the film. Then take the great parts of the film. I like how this movie starts, as it is one thing that needs to be looked at carefully, or you could misread what is happening for the entire movie. When the lead pair then start to play eXistenZ the movie becomes all the more interesting, as this is the part where you can start to realise that not everything is what it seems.

But here is a clue for you out there that are a little confused by the whole reality vs. virtual-reality parts of the film. The film does point out very subtle clues as to what mode both Allegra and Ted are actually in. However, if you are one person who is clever enough to work out the movie's entire plot, then you are one lucky person, as even I am still thinking up questions that I want to know the answers to (such as: was the entire movie just a game? What does the end of the film actually mean? Did those mean streaks that happened in the supposed 'game', turn out just to be glitches in the real life 'virtual reality' game? What should you make of the two lead characters after the end of the film?) I am sure I will think of more questions, but whether I find out there answers is another thing.

The whole world of 'virtual reality', is becoming realer and closer in the world that we live in. We can enter into many different aspects of virtual reality at the drop of the hat, thanks to technologies such as computers (the internet) computer games and the movies that we watch. However whether the whole idea of 'virtual reality' is good, that I am unsure of. My opinion is if we enter into a world that is outside of our reality, than we could be giving something of ourselves that we don't actually know we are giving, and could turn us into people that we might not normally be. That being said, this movie makes me so curious about the world that I have just criticised. If you want to experience a film that goes one step further than what the Matrix did in certain aspects, then I can only recommend that you dare yourself to enter into the game which is called 'eXistenZ'.

CMRS gives 'eXistenZ': 4.5 (Very Good - Brilliant Film)

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