David Fincher followed up his English-language adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by executive producing Netflix’ House of Cards series (in addition to directing a handful of episodes). The Oscar-nominated filmmaker is now getting back into the moviemaking business with another best-selling mystery/thriller novel adaptation: Gone Girl, a film based on Gillian Flynn’s book – which revolves around a woman’s disappearance on her wedding anniversary – and headlined by the likes of Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry.
There are a handful of potential candidates, with regard to which project Fincher will tackle after he wraps up shooting and post-production on Gone Girl. Interestingly, a hot-off-the-presss report suggests that he may be moving ahead next on the comic book adaptation Black Hole (no connection to Joseph Kosinski’s developing remake of the 1970s Disney cult sci-fi movie, The Black Hole) – some three years after Fincher stepped aside from the project, in order to focus on crafting his own interpretation of Lisbeth Salander in the Dragon Tattoo movie.
Black Hole, for those unfamiliar, is a 12-issue graphic novel series that takes place during the mid-1970s, when a collection of middle-class teenagers find themselves struck down by a sexually-transmitted disease that is known as “The Bug”; one that causes them to develop bizarre mutations (like an extra mouth on their neck), which prompts the rest of society to reject them. (Anyone else smell a metaphor?) The comic books were written and illustrated by Charles Burns, who won a Harvey Award for his efforts on the series in 2006.
A recent article posed by THR focuses on Brad Pitt and the upcoming awards contender 12 Years a Slave (which Pitt costars in and produced through his Plan B banner), but it contain some useful nuggets of information; including, the news that Marc Forster won’t direct the World War Z sequel and the announcement that Plan B and Fincher are moving forward on Black Hole again. The latter project has been stuck in place since Fincher dropped out, although filmmaker Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) made a short film adaptation as part of his pitch for the project a couple years back (watch that very NSFW video HERE).
Black Hole, back when Fincher was originally lined up to direct, was going to be adapted for the big screen by the impressive combination of Oscar-winning screenwriter Roger Avary (co-writer of Pulp Fiction) and comic book icon/author Neil Gaiman (American Gods) – previous collaborators on Robert Zemeckis’ mo-cap Beowulf adaptation. However, Fincher’s obsessive-perfectionist approach to filmmaking didn’t mesh with the writing duo’s methods, resulting in their script being abandoned and Fincher turning his attention onto Dragon Tattoo instead.
A new screenwriter for the Black Hole adaptation has yet to be announced, though it seems unlikely that Avary and Gaiman’s older draft(s) will be pulled back out of the drawer (since Fincher appears to be back onboard as director). Burns’ source material lends itself to a thematically-engaging and visually-provocative cinematic adaptation (as Sander’s short demonstrates), so the prospect of a quality writer adapting the comic book for Fincher to bring to life is a promising one, indeed (and unlike Fincher’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake, this adaptation won’t be canceled over budget concerns).
Bear in mind, there’s no guarantee (yet) that Fincher will followup Gone Girl with Black Hole, not least of all because the director is currently getting a helping hand in cracking the story for The Girl Who Played with Fire (based on the Dragon Tattoo sequel novel) from his trusted screenwriter, Kevin Walker (Se7en). If a script for the latter (finally) come together first, then it’s reasonable to expect that Fincher will reunite with Dragon Tattoo actress Rooney Mara before he brings Burns’ twisted coming of age tale to theaters.
We’ll keep you updated on the status of Black Hole as more information is made available.