“Movement is life,” Brad Pitt‘s Gerry Lane famously said, advising survivors in Paramount‘s 2013 zombie/outbreak movie “World War Z.” Momentum is everything in Hollywood, and perhaps a lack of it hurt “World War Z”‘s chances for a sequel, because it’s now curtains for the followup film. Sources close to the project for years tell us that Paramount Pictures pulled the plug on director David Fincher‘s film last night.
The film’s budget was definitely an issue but only to a degree. Fincher and his team were proposing something less than the budget of the original ($190 million according to Box Office Mojo, before the costly reshoots). However, Paramount’s known about this figure since at least last year and had hemmed and hawed about the project for months. One might think it not entirely coincidental that Paramount, which makes far fewer films than the average studio, just designated a lot of money for two significant blockbusters: “Mission Impossible 7” & ‘8‘ which will arrive in the summer of 2021 and 2022, according to their official release dates.
Paramount simply dragged their heels, at one point eyeing a 2018 or 2019 summer release, but never feeling bold enough to put it back on the schedule. Pitt, who has worked with Fincher several times, began to court Fincher for the job back in August of 2016 and a few months later the director agreed and started to look for writers to develop a new script. Dennis Kelly, the creator and writer of the original U.K. “Utopia” series—which Fincher almost adapted himself for HBO— was hired to rewrite the script from Steven Knight.
The officially untitled “World War Z 2” was roughly aiming for a summer shoot—Fincher is currently still busy editing “Mindhunter” season two for Netflix—but the writing might have been on the wall given how tentative Paramount was with the project.
Last March, during several promotional interviews for his new film Prodigy (1, 2, 3), veteran actor and voice actor Richard Neil talked about one his recent projects:
“I just voiced one of the lead roles in a graphic anthology series directed by Tim Miller, who directed Deadpool. That’s being produced by David Fincher and is supposed to debut on Netflix later this year or early next year.
I cannot even say the name of the series at this time.
In that, I took on a kind of Nick Nolte meets Tom Waits voice. You just have to make sure you can sustain it and not hurt yourself!”
According to Longmire TV series actor Adam Bartley, David Fincher might be directing one episode:
“This year, since I’ve finished Longmire I’ve done two films and a motion-capture job, a David Fincher – Netflix untitled short.”
For details on the history of the Heavy Metal anthology project and his development (hell):
There is a bit of an update as they’ve hired a Visual Effects Supervisor. Oscar-winner Eric Barba, who is best known for his work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Tron: Legacy and Oblivion has joined the film. His other work for David Fincher includes Zodiac, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl.
The alchemist behind Fight Club and Zodiac discusses his newest true crime saga, the Netflix Original series MINDHUNTER.
Netflix has come a long way since the launch of its flagship in-house production, House of Cards back in 2013. The first two episodes of that landmark series saw one of American cinema’s most fastidious craftsmen make his first foray into television. Now David Fincher is back and doubling down, helming four episodes of 2017’s most anticipated binge-fest, an adaptation of the memoir by FBI agent John Douglas, the criminal profiler who served as inspiration for Jack Crawford in Thomas Harris’ bestseller, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’. Fincher gave us a call for an epic conversation about all things MINDHUNTER.
When one of the great directors of a generation announces their next project, the film world listens. It is rare, however, for said announcement to be puzzling. Martin Scorsese is creating his treatise on faith in Silence? Of course he is. Kathryn Bigelow is making the true story of the Detroit riots? Sure, why not? Paul Thomas Anderson’s next untitled film starring Daniel Day Lewis is about a dressmaker for the Royal Family? Sounds award worthy. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. And then there’s David Fincher.
As most know, Fincher certainly got off to a rough start as a director. After cutting his teeth on music videos, he was tapped to direct Alien 3. The tales of his struggles on that particular film are legendary at this point, and he has basically disowned the movie and refuses to speak about it. After a three-year hiatus, he returned with Se7en. This success helped launch his career to the next level. He is now seen as one of the best directors available, easily on par with the others previously mentioned. But unlike most top directors, Fincher does not seem to always reach for the brass ring. Instead, he seems to vacillate between premier projects, like The Social Network or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, to more eccentric choices, such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or Gone Girl.
Gone Girl may be Fincher’s oddest choice to date. The film, based on the best selling novel by Gillian Flynn, is nowhere near an awards contender or at least not at first glance. Any number of pseudo-negative descriptions have been used to chronicle the details of the book; trashy, over-the-top, a beach read, the list goes on and on. Given the stunning sales of Gone Girl, a film adaptation was inevitable. But to be directed by the creator of two films that arguably were the best of their respective years, in Zodiac and The Social Network? Very unlikely.
“There was a few months when David Fincher was going to direct my script for a movie called The Lookout. It was, as it was with Steven Soderbergh on Out of Sight, a very productive few months. Again, on that movie, I also had a wealth of talented producers, who helped me for years on the script. But those few months with Fincher made me see the script as a movie, not just a story. He didn’t end up directing the film, but when I directed it myself, I shot the script that I wrote for Fincher”