‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ is the Dark Cousin of ‘Knives Out’ and ‘Glass Onion’

Between a gritty thriller and two cozy whodunits, the similarities are easier to spot than a red herring.

Chris Sasaguay
January 14, 2023
Collider

“You will be investigating thieves, misers, bullies, the most detestable collection of people you will ever meet. My family.” Should the detective take the case, this lies it all out. It’s a warning, though more importantly, it’s an invitation to investigate. Christopher Plummer could deliver the dialogue in either two of the murder mysteries he acts in. Both have him play the elder patriarch to a clan of scumbags. Among the Vangers or Thrombeys, some family members are worse than others. Should you pay a visit to any residence, it would make for a distressing time all around. The David Fincher adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel, bleak and intense, couldn’t be more different from Rian Johnson‘s satirical, colorful Knives Out movies. What they share in common, is where The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) turns into a dark cousin in crime.

Read the full article

David Prior Interview: Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Director David Prior discusses Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, his love for “The Autopsy” short story, and The Empty Man‘s release.

Grant Hermanns
November 2, 2022
ScreenRant

Some bodies are more than meet the eye, as seen in the “The Autopsy” installment of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Based on Michael Shea‘s short story of the same name, the episode sees a coroner brought in to do the autopsies of several miners who died when one of them set off an explosion with a mysterious object, only to learn of the surprising truth behind him.

F. Murray Abraham and Luke Roberts lead the cast of “The Autopsy“, which hails from The Empty Man writer-director David Prior. Primarily set in an isolated location, the episode is a chilling game of mental chess as Abraham’s Dr. Carl Winters grapples with the revelation of why the miners died, and how he may be next.

In anticipation of its premiere, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with director David Prior to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, his installment “The Autopsy,” his and del Toro’s shared love of reading, The Empty Man‘s mishandled release, and more.

Read the full interview

Watch Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities on Netflix

Step by Step, David Fincher’s ‘The Game’ Drags You Into a Living Nightmare

The most overlooked entry in David Fincher’s filmography is also one of his best.

Matthew Mosley
November 1, 2022
Collider

The Game had a lot to live up to. It was the film David Fincher chose as his follow-up to the wildly acclaimed Seven, a film that had thrust the young director into the limelight and prevented his career from reaching a premature end after the mixed reaction to his debut, Alien 3. Suddenly, he was no longer the man who’d killed the little girl we’d spent all of Aliens trying to save. Instead, he was a fully realized auteur ready to carve out his place in the annals of cinema, and all eyes were on him to see what he would do next. What he came back with was The Game, a Hitchcockian thriller for the modern age that toned down the controversial subject matter of its predecessor to focus on being a more straightforward genre pic – a decision that raised a few eyebrows.

The film centers on Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas), a wealthy investment banker who has everything but the one thing money can’t buy – happiness. For his 48th birthday, his estranged brother Conrad (Sean Penn) gives him a voucher for a mysterious game operated by the equally mysterious Consumer Recreation Services. Nicholas initially rejects the gift, but curiosity gets the better of him and he agrees to participate. However, it doesn’t take long before reality and the game become one and the same, and Nicholas finds himself caught in a web of conspiracy that grows tighter the more he tries to escape. It’s classic thriller stuff and would make for perfect late-night viewing for someone looking to escape into the fantastical world of movies. It’s the sort of thing Alfred Hitchcock excelled at, and while it’s an oversimplification to say that that’s all the film has going for it – touches of psychological thriller era Brian De Palma are scattered throughout, alongside the occasional moment of surrealism that feels closer to what Charlie Kaufman would later popularize – it’s undeniably a more crowd-pleasing experience than Fincher’s previous work.

Read the full article

Director David Prior’s ‘The Autopsy’ Is an Instant Horror Classic

The Empty Man” director discusses his masterful entry in Netflix’s “Cabinet of Curiosities” anthology series and its creative debts to Guillermo Del Toro, “The Exorcist,” and H.R. Giger.

Steve Greene
October 27, 2022
IndieWire

[Editor’s Note: The following interview contains spoilers for “Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” Episode 3, “The Autopsy.”]

A little while ago, director David Prior got an unexpected gift. A package showed up in the mail. Inside was a tiny figurine of a bearded man.

“I got it in the mail before I even knew what it was. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s nice. A little souvenir. Did Guillermo whittle this himself?’” Prior said. “I assumed it was Dr. Winters when I got it.”

Dr. Winters is the main character in “The Autopsy,” the episode of the Netflix series “Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” that Prior directed. In this version of Michael Shea’s short story, adapted with the help of screenwriter David S. Goyer, Winters is called on to help an investigation into what local police believe is a tragic mining explosion. By the time he gets a chance to examine the bodies pulled from the wreckage, Winters discovers that something about those deaths wasn’t exactly natural.

But as Prior discovered when he watched the completed episode, the small statue was of him, not his protagonist. In each of the “Cabinet of Curiosities” installments, Del Toro continues in the tradition of past anthology hosts with a short introduction. Each ends with him tipping his hat to the director of the episode audiences are about to see, with their figurine likeness front and center.

That kind of onscreen salute is far from the support that Prior’s debut feature, “The Empty Man,” got when it was released almost exactly two years before. A victim of studio merger jockeying, a theatrical distribution model in chaos, and a whole host of marketing bungles, “The Empty Man” took a groundswell of devoted fan support to gradually reach the audience it deserved.

The Autopsy” doesn’t have quite the immense and global scope of that debut feature, but the same meticulous, precise spirit of Prior’s visual storytelling comes through. It’s a detective story of a different kind, with Winters (played by F. Murray Abraham) bringing a key emotional match to the jargon-heavy work of his profession. What this doctor finds is beyond the anatomical puzzle he expected.

And it’s another story that marries the technical craft of unsettling audiences (split fingernails! corpses in bags covered in insects!) with heady thematic ideas about what life is worth and how to spend it. From the mine explosion set piece to the insert shot of whiskey splashing into a coffee mug, everything in “The Autopsy” serves a purpose. Prior spoke with IndieWire about the process of joining a horror playground in progress and adding another impressive tale to his own collection.

Read the full interview

A Complete Autopsy of ‘The Autopsy’

Breaking down David Prior’s episode of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

John DiLillo
Tudum (Netflix)

Watch Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities on Netflix

Por qué nos fascinan los asesinos en serie

Joe Penhall, creador de la serie ‘Mindhunter’, en Madrid (Samuel Sánchez)

El creador de ‘Mindhunter’ repasa las entrañas de un género en auge en la ficción: “Hollywood los convierte en personajes icónicos, pero solo son seres tristes y muy jodidos”

Natalia Marcos
31 octubre 2022
El País

Aunque la segunda temporada de Mindhunter (Netflix) se emitió en 2019, todavía muchos de sus seguidores siguen preguntando si volverá la producción que, en sus dos entregas, seguía el trabajo de dos agentes del FBI y una psicóloga que ponen en marcha la Unidad de Análisis de la Conducta del cuerpo en los años setenta. La serie, que tiene entre sus directores y productores al cineasta David Fincher, se basa en las memorias del exagente John E. Douglas y el escritor Mark Olshaker. A partir de ese material y muchas entrevistas con policías reales, expertos en análisis del comportamiento, e incluso con los agentes que capturaron a asesinos en serie como Green RiverTed Bundy, el autor teatral y guionista Joe Penhall (Londres, 55 años) ficcionó las vidas de quienes trataron de meterse en la mente de los criminales más peligrosos.

Lee la entrevista completa / Read the full interview in Spanish

Translated from Spanish:

Are we totally saying goodbye to the option of a 3rd season of Mindhunter?

“I think so. Never say never, but Fincher loves making movies, and making movies is easier than 10 episodes of Mindhunter. The thing is that to make series for Netflix you have to make them like in a sausage factory. You have to get the episodes out with little money. I did 25 or 30 script rewrites per episode. It became impossible. Fincher realized that he couldn’t do that for a long time and also make movies. The budget was too high, we had the best directors… To move forward we would have to lower the quality, and that is why I think it will not happen. But I have told David [Fincher] that I have more seasons in mind. He always tells me, ‘well, we’ll see, who knows…’. In fact, Penhall wrote in 75 pages the main lines of what he devised as 5 seasons of the series. “In the 5th, Tench [played by Holt McCallany] and Holden [Jonathan Groff] become authors, they write books. They go to Hollywood premieres and no longer work as agents, become famous and sign autographs, and have a battle with other rivals over who invented behavioral science and even become consultants on a Hollywood movie. It was a very playful idea”, he smiles.

Interview with Andrew Kevin Walker, writer of Se7en

Daniel Fee (Twitter)
September 15, 2022
Daniel Fee33 (YouTube)

In this video, I’m lucky enough to sit down with Andrew Kevin Walker! Screenwriter behind projects such as SE7EN, the David Fincher directed crime thriller, starring Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman! Andrew is also the screenwriter behind Brainscan, Nerdland, he co-wrote Windfall, and he also wrote an episode of hit TV Show, Love Death and Robots! It was such an honour to chat with Andy!

I would really appreciate it if anyone could donate to the National Deaf Children’s Society! (Twitter) Every cent helps! Thanks!

Andrew Kevin Walker: website, Twitter, Instagram

Mentioned podcast:

David Koepp in conversation with Andrew Kevin Walker

September 11, 2019
Live Talks Los Angeles (Apple Podcasts)

Love, Death, Robots + Books

Love, Death + Robots: The Official Anthology. Volume One

The sixteen stories and two screenplays that make up Volume One of the Emmy® award-winning Netflix Original series Love, Death & Robots.
Featuring best-selling authors and screenwriters from all over the globe, curated by filmmakers Tim Miller and David Fincher.

Stories and screenplays by: Alastair Reynolds, Alberto Mielgo, Claudine Griggs, David W. Amendola, Joe Lansdale, John Scalzi, Ken Liu, Kirsten Cross, Marko Kloos, Michael Swanwick, Peter F. Hamilton, Steven Lewis, and Vitaliy Shushko.

Imprint: Cohesion Press
Publication Date: May 14, 2021

PAPERBACK
ISBN-10: ‎ 1925623386
ISBN-13: 978-1925623383
Page Count: 310
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches (13.97 x 21.59 x 1.78 cm)
Weight: ‎ 13.7 ounces (388 g)
Price: $14.95, £9.95

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B0923HJQ5G
Page Count: 312
Price: $6.97 / £5.49 (Kindle)

Love, Death + Robots: The Official Anthology. Volumes Two & Three

The seventeen stories and screenplays that make up Volumes Two and Three of the Emmy® award-winning Netflix Original series Love, Death & Robots.
Featuring best-selling authors and screenwriters from all over the globe, curated by filmmakers Tim Miller and David Fincher.

Stories and screenplays by: Neal Asher, Paolo Bacigalupi, J. G. Ballard, Alan Baxter, Justin Coates, Harlan Ellison, Joachim Heijndermans, Joe Lansdale, Richard Larson, Alberto Mielgo, Jeff Fowler & Tim Miller, John Scalzi, Bruce Sterling, and Michael Swanwick.

Imprint: Cohesion Press
Publication Date: May 20, 2022

PAPERBACK
Coming Soon…

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B09XKRQ6NJ
Page Count: 318
Price: $6.97 / £5.49 (Kindle)

The Art of Love, Death + Robots

By Ramin Zahed

Love Death + Robots is a Netflix series like no other—a breath-taking journey of mature, high-concept tales told with seductive characters, astounding plots, and explosive action. With each episode crafted by different animation teams across the globe, the thought-provoking anthology covers a vast range of animation styles from edgy 2D to stop-motion to anime to hyper-realistic 3D CG.

In this luxury book, discover the wealth of artwork and stories behind the creation of the series’ first three volumes. Includes interviews with key artists and creatives such as series creators Tim Miller and David Fincher, and is full to the brim with everything from beautiful concept art, character studies, costume sketches, paintings, vehicle designs, storyboards, and early vision decks, through to finished frames. Perfect for any fan of animation.

Imprint: Titan Books
Publication Date: July 26, 2022

HARDCOVER
ISBN-10: ‎ 1789098645
ISBN-13: 978-1789098648
Page Count: 256
Dimensions: 9.06 x 11.63 inches (23 x 29.5 cm)
Weight: ‎ 1.25 pounds (0.57 Kg)
Price: $40.50, £34.99

EBOOK
ASIN‏: ‎ B09VX91VQX
ISBN-13: 978-1803360812
Page Count: 256
Price: $20.06 / £14.58 (Kindle), $22.99 (NOOK Book)

David Fincher Tells You Everything You’d Ever Want to Know About Making ‘Love, Death + Robots’ and Directing ‘Bad Travelling’

Fincher also talks about his love of director Alberto Mielgo’s ‘Jibaro’ and how he’s “never seen anything like it. I’ve never been that mesmerized.”

Steve Weintraub
May 20, 2022
Collider

If you’re a fan of David Fincher and Love, Death + Robots, you’re about to be very happy. Not only is Love, Death + Robots Volume 3 now streaming on Netflix, David Fincher directed one of the episodes, Bad Travelling, and it’s fantastic. Written by Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, it’s about a giant crustacean and a shark-hunting sailing vessel. I’d love to tell you more…but the best thing about Love, Death + Robots is not knowing anything about what you’re going to watch and just letting it happen.

Shortly after watching the episode, I was able to get on the phone with Fincher for a deep dive conversation about directing Bad Travelling and the making of Love, Death + Robots. During the sprawling conversation, Fincher talked about his history with animation, how he decided on the style of animation for his episode, how they decided where something should end, how everyone involved in the series is doing it for the love of the genre, and if they’ve thought about making a Love, Death + Robots feature film or doing a live-action version. In addition, he talked about his love of director Alberto Mielgo’s Jibaro (another Love, Death + Robots Volume 3 episode) and how he’s “never seen anything like it. I’ve never been that mesmerized.”

Trust me, if you’re a fan of Fincher and this amazing series, you’ll learn a lot about how it’s made.

Check out what he had to say.

Zodiac Screenwriter on His Overlong Spec Script and Convos with David Fincher on the ‘Passage of Time’

Author Robert Graysmith, director David Fincher, producer Brad Fischer, and screenwriter James Vanderbilt (Photo: Margot Graysmith)

Caleb Hammond
March 2, 2022
MovieMaker

James Vanderbilt wrote the screenplay for 2007’s Zodiac on spec — meaning he wasn’t commissioned to write it. So he began cutting it down before he sent it out to studios.

“I was just like, ‘This script is too fucking long. No one is going to read it.’ And I think the original script they sent out was 150 pages. It’s the thing you shouldn’t do, is write a 150-page script,” Vanderbilt tells MovieMaker about the film, released 15 years ago today.

Even when David Fincher agreed to direct the project, Vanderbilt was still concerned about its length. But much to his surprise, scenes were often added in development, not removed.

“In the spec, I had written the whole sequence with Brian Cox, and the morning show where Zodiac calls in, and then I cut it before sending the script out,” Vanderbilt says.

“And then one day Fincher was like, ‘You know, Zodiac might have called this morning show?’

“I was like, ‘Oh, I wrote it.’”

Fincher, who had spent months doing his own research on Zodiac, was impressed.

“You did?” he replied.

So Vanderbilt sent him the previously-cut 15 minute sequence.

“And he goes, ‘Well, this has got to go back in,’” Vanderbilt says. “And so it just kind of kept growing.”

Eventually Fincher sat Vanderbilt down and told him to “stop worrying about the length. I’m going to just make everyone talk very fast,” Vanderbilt says.

True to his word, “if you watch the movie, it is very bip, bip, bip, bip — everyone is talking very fast,” he adds.

Read the full profile

‘Zodiac’ Turns 15: Behind-the-Scenes Facts You Didn’t Know About the David Fincher Movie

David Fincher’s legendary attention to detail on the serial killer film inspired plenty of on-set drama.

Christian Zilko
March 03, 2022
IndieWire

This week marks 15 years since “Zodiac” was released in theaters, and save for the actors looking 15 years younger than they do now, the film still feels like it could be released today. If anything, “Zodiac” feels more like a product of 2022 than 2007. The country is more obsessed with serial killers than ever before, with true crime podcasts and documentaries continuing to draw massive ratings, Zodiac killer memes being used in presidential primaries, and the latest Batman movie taking the form of a serial killer drama.

That makes it a great time to revisit “Zodiac,” as well as a good opportunity to take a deep dive into the making of the film. “Zodiac” attracted as much attention for its painstaking production process as it did for the finished product, as the always detail-oriented David Fincher went above and beyond to make sure everything in his film was historically accurate. Sometimes his methodical process hurt his relationships with the cast, but one thing is for certain: They made a great movie.

Read the 15 facts about the making of “Zodiac” that you may not have known.