David Fincher has balanced the act of working in movies and in television better than most. On screen he’s helmed acclaimed films like Fight Club, The Social Network and this year’s Gone Girl, and for the smaller screen he’s been a driving force behind Netflix’s hit political drama, House of Cards.
Next the director will work with HBO on not one, not two – but three upcoming series. The first is an adaptation of the British series, Utopia, which is being written by Gillian Flynn (who also authored the Gone Girl source novel and penned the script for Fincher’s movie adaptation).
Fincher’s second HBO series is a new noir crime drama with writer James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) titled, Shakedown. The series will center around the seedy world of 1950s Hollywood tabloids and is inspired by real life cop-turned-private eye, Fred Otash. However, this Shakedown is an original project from Ellroy, and not an adaptation of his novel of the same name, which also features a fictionalized detective based on Otash.
Fincher and Ellroy, as reported by Deadline, will be executive producers along with Joshua Donen, Clark Peterson, and Steven Hoban. Originally, Ellroy was developing this series for FX, but the move to HBO will likely allow Shakedown to let loose and hold nothing back while exposing the ugliness behind all the 1950s glamor; something Fincher will surely do an excellent job at highlighting.
Lastly, Fincher’s other HBO collaboration will be his most personal as it involves the medium in which his career began: music videos. The series is called Living on Video and in half-hour episodes, will tell the stories of crew members who worked on music videos during the 1980s, the period that is easily the medium’s heyday. Fincher, according to The Wrap‘s report, is serving as a producer on the series and will direct its premiere episode.
As this list of upcoming projects implies, Fincher is appears far more interested in working in television and with networks that give him the freedom to develop a project as he sees fit. Does this indicate the famed director is giving up on movies all together?
Probably not, but then these recent comments he made in an interview with Playboy indicate his patience for working with big studios is wearing thin:
“Studios treat audiences like lemmings, like cattle in a stockyard. I don’t want to ask actors or anyone else on a movie to work so hard with me if the studios treat us as though we’re making Big Macs. ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ is not a Big Mac. ‘Gone Girl’ is not a Big Mac. This TV show I’m doing about music videos in the 1980s and the crew members who worked on them, or this other show, a Sunset Boulevard set in the world of soaps — they’re not Big Macs. I don’t make Big Macs.”
This attitude played in to his decision to walk away from Sony’s Steve Jobs, which now has Danny Boyle directing from an Aaron Sorkin-penned screenplay. That film is still trying to land an actor for the lead after Christian Bale passed on the role, so it appears Fincher may have made the right move to leave the struggling biopic.
Which of Fincher’s many upcoming television projects are you most excited for? Do you expect Fincher to begin directing less feature films for major studios? Drop us a line in the comments below!
Utopia is slated to begin shooting in 2015, but has no current premiere date. Shakedown and Living on Video are currently in development; stay tuned to Screen Rant for more details.