Fincher, left, directed the short under Covid protocols. “I didn’t quite realize how much I communicate through my face,” he said.
May 19, 2022
The New York Times
The director made his first animated short for the new season of this Netflix anthology. “It was an incredibly freeing, eye-opening, mind-expanding way to interface with a story,” he said.
Before David Fincher became an A-list director and multiple Oscar and Emmy nominee — lauded for of-the-moment films like “Fight Club” and “The Social Network” and the TV series “House of Cards” and “Mindhunter” — he was one of the co-founders of the production company Propaganda Films. Propaganda was known for its visually dazzling TV commercials and music videos, and Fincher honed his craft in dozens of miniature movies made in myriad styles.
Yet until recently, he had never directed animation, even though he loves the medium so much that he signed on a few years ago to be an executive producer of the Netflix anthology animation series “Love, Death + Robots,” which returns for its third season on Friday.
“Love, Death + Robots” sprung from the ashes of a project Fincher had been developing with the “Deadpool” director Tim Miller since the late 2000s: a revival of “Heavy Metal,” the animated movie series inspired by the adults-only science-fiction and fantasy comics magazine. The first season of “Love, Death + Robots” debuted in 2019, featuring 18 episodes (ranging in length from 6 to 17 minutes) that adapted short stories by genre favorites like Peter F. Hamilton, John Scalzi and Joe Lansdale. An eight-episode second season followed in 2021.
Despite his involvement, Fincher never made a short of his own until Season 3, when he and the screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (who wrote Fincher’s crime thriller “Seven”) tackled a tale by the British science-fiction author Neal Asher called “Bad Travelling.” Set on the high seas on a distant planet, the story follows a merchant ship as it is tormented by a giant, intelligent crab that manipulates the crew members and then eliminates them one by one. Fincher described the short as “like a David Lean movie crossed with ‘Ten Little Indians.’”