There are two things that David Fincher clearly has a liking for – one is directing sophisticated thrillers with a macabre edge, and the other is the word “panic”. He’ll be returning to the crime drama genre with his next film (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) – and may add another notch to his directing belt in the future with a movie adaptation of Jason Starr’s crime novel, Panic Attack.
Fincher has optioned Starr’s 2009 novel through his Panic Pictures production company; whether or not Panic Attack will eventually join his long list of crime-oriented directorial efforts (Seven, Zodiac, Panic Room – hence the “panic” comment earlier) is not yet clear.
Vulture is reporting that Fincher has commissioned screenwriter Ted Griffin to adapt Panic Attack for the big screen. Griffin definitely has a knack for crafting clever caper/crime flicks, having been responsible for writing both Ocean’s Eleven and Matchstick Men (we’ll ignore the fact that he also penned Killers and Rumor Has It…). He’s also co-wrote the upcoming crime-caper-comedy Tower Heist, which bodes well for that Brett Ratner project.
Panic Attack is a tense Noir thriller about successful New York psychotherapist Adam Bloom – and how his seemingly picture-perfect life (wealth, happy family, etc.) slowly begins to unravel after he kills a would-be burglar who breaks into his home.
Not only does the resulting media frenzy over his actions take a heavy psychological toll on his loved ones, Bloom also has to contend with the vengeful partner of the man he shot. That fellow, a man named Johnny Long, has been described by Starr as “a very clever, Ripley-esque psychopath” – in reference to the title character of The Talented Mr. Ripley, that is.
Part dark character study, part crime thriller, Panic Attack certainly sounds like the kind of story that’s right up Fincher’s alleyway as a filmmaker. However, Fincher already has a new version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on his “to direct” list – not to mention, he also has the option to helm The Girl Who Played With Fire, assuming that Dragon Tattoo does well enough to warrant making the sequel (it almost definitely will). So even though Panic Attack may well be Fincher’s kind of gig, he might end up passing on the directorial reigns to someone else while he works on other projects.
We’ll keep you posted on the status of Panic Attack as more information is released.