David Fincher Offers Status Updates For ‘Cleopatra,’ ‘House of Cards,’ ‘The Goon,’ ‘Black Hole,’ and ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’
Posted on Monday, December 19th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
With David Fincher doing a lot of interviews for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over the past few days, there is a good amount of talk out there about the possible second and third films that could follow Dragon Tattoo. David Fincher doesn’t yet know if he’ll direct those films — or he isn’t yet saying, at least. That’s something that likely won’t be announced until after the film has its first opening weekend, which is coming up in a couple days.
Whether or not those films happen, there are quite a few other projects in Fincher’s queue. Some are movies he might direct, like the Cleopatra film that would star Angelina Jolie, and the pilot for the Netflix series House of Cards. He’s also got 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea on the docket, and he’s still working as a producer on films like Black Hole (based on the Charles Burns graphic novel, not the Disney sci-fi film) and The Goon. He has offered slight updates on all those projects in the past couple days, and we’ve rounded up his quotes below.
First up, Fincher talked to MTV about Cleopatra (recap past news here) which The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network producer Scott Rudin is producing, and which has Angelina Jolie attached to play the title character. It sounds like that one is less than set, at least from the perspective of having Fincher direct:
That’s something I would love to do with Angie… It’s something that was brought to me that you have to take seriously. Scott has this wonderful book [by Stacy Schiff] and hopefully Eric can find a way in. I’m not interested in a giant sword and sandal epic.
We’ve seen scope; everyone knows we can fake that. That stuff doesn’t impress in the way that it did even 10 years ago. We expect that from cable. So that’s not the reason to do that. What is it about this character that has purchased this place in our history and imagination that is relatable today?
And on the subject of Cleopatra, Fincher told Collider that the film is still in the earliest stages:
Cleopatra, I haven’t even begun. I’ve just spoken with Angie [Jolie] and Eric [Roth] and I’m trying to figure out how to weigh in. It’s just a discussion about what can it be, what are people expecting, what do we need to do to destroy that?
He also confirmed that he’ll direct the pilot for the new version of House of Cards (past news here) that Netflix will air with Kevin Spacey and Robin Write starring,
I’m casting and I’m going to Washington and Baltimore this weekend to look at locations.
Then there is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which was originally written by Scott Z. Burns, and brought Andrew Kevin Walker on to rewrite.
I don’t know what came before me. We’re plugging away, trying to get a script that sort of satisfies all of the… you know, it’s a tricky thing because it’s a $200 million 3D thing done in water, and you don’t want to go off half-cocked. You can find yourself with a $75 million overage in a movie that completely takes place underwater, especially in 3D. 3D is a whole different thing for reflective sources.
The director is also saying to a few outlets about the fact that doing a sci-fi movie that is set 120 years ago is appealing, in part because of the novelty of seeing the genre through era-appropriate eyes.
Then there’s The Goon, the animated film based on Eric Powell‘s comic book series of the same name. (Totally different project from the Jay Baruchel hockey comedy Goon.) We’ve been tracking this one for a couple years, but there’s little public info. The last major update came when Fincher appeared with Powell at Comic Con in 2010. We’ve seen some test footage, but at this point there is still no one to pay for the film. Fincher told SHH,
Eric’s been working on it and Tim’s been working on it [Tim Miller from Blur Animation], and Jeff (Fowler). People continue to work on it and refine stuff, but it’s hard for me because I’m in Sweden, so I can’t really make many production meetings, but the attempt is to in January really go out and try and figure out a price that makes sense… I don’t know why you can spend $200 million on The incredibles but you can’t spend $50 million on The Goon,’or $130 million on Kung Fu Panda and $50 million on The Goon.
Fincher also sounds like he’s still working on the adaptation of Charles Burns‘ incredible and disturbing graphic novel Black Hole:
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It’s a really great script by Dante Harper, so the hope is that will win out… It’s so weird. It’s so great, because it would be great to see. It’s a very tough… there’s make-up FX and digital FX that are expensive and to do it right, you gotta do it just right, because it has to challenge your idea of the human body.