After perhaps his biggest movie success so far, director David Fincher is eyeing a move to the small screen. But don’t worry, he’ll be bringing along some friends to make his stay on television more comfortable.
The director of Gone Girl has been circling his first traditional TV project (having worked on the Netflix series House Of Cards) for a while now, with the rumour being he was going to dedicate most of 2015 to helming his adaptation of British show Utopia. Looks like it’s definitely happening, and it may have just cast its first star.
According The Wrap’s Jeff Snider, Rooney Mara is in talks to star in Utopia, which is still set up at HBO. The young actress joins the series being co-written by Fincher and author Gillian Flynn, the latter of whom adapted her bestselling book Gone Girl to the screen for the director. Mara previously starred as Lisbeth Salander, the troubled hacker in Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It’s likely she’ll fulfil one of the female leads from the original Channel 4 series.
Here is the full synopsis for the first season of the British Utopia (it’s unknown yet how faithful the HBO adaptation will be), courtesy of SlashFilm:
The story follows a small group of people who find themselves in possession of the manuscript sequel of a cult graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments which is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century. This leads them to be targeted by an organisation known as The Network, which they must avoid to survive. Using the manuscript, they must uncover the meaning hidden in its pages before the disasters depicted become reality.
If Mara does sign on for Utopia, it will be her third collaboration with David Fincher after The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and a supporting role in The Social Network. Chances are she’ll either be playing Becky, a student investigating the mysterious death of her father that could be connected to The Utopia Experiments; or else Jessica Hyde, an intense badass who was experimented on by The Network during her childhood.
After Gone Girl, Fincher had been working on another series for HBO, inspired by his early career as a music video director. Videosyncrazy, formerly called Living On Video and then Video Synchronicity, had production halted mid-way through filming the first season, and has yet to start back up. According to earlier reports on Utopia, Fincher was planning on directing every episode in the first season, with he and Flynn providing all the scripts, as well.
Despite critical acclaim, the British Utopia was cancelled after its second season. Hopefully the Fincher/Flynn/Mara adaptation will not suffer such an ignominious fate, as the show remains one of the most visually and thematically distinct in modern television: the conspiracy theory angle is something that remains ever fitting in the age of WikiLeaks, and it’ll be interesting to see how the bright colors and composed images of the British show look through the similarly controlled lens of Fincher.
As for Rooney Mara, it feels very much like she’s been treading water until her next Fincher collaboration. She had a small role in Spike Jonze’s critically acclaimed Her, starred in the Terrence Malick-lite Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and is set to play Tiger Lily in Joe Wright’s Captain Hook origin story Pan, but she’s consistently been vying for a chance to play Lisbeth Salander again. At the same time, she’s been somewhat pessimistic about the chances of The Girl Who Played With Fire making it to the big screen. Perhaps re-teaming with Fincher for Utopia is as close as she’ll get?
Utopia is currently in development at HBO with an air date to be announced.