The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won’t play in front of my eyes for another 22 hours or so, but David Fincher is just about ready to move on. Those familiar with the director’s penchant for keeping a busy schedule don’t need to hear that, but even a devout fan — such as yours truly — was surprised by all the projects that came up in an interview with MTV.
First up, he confirmed some general interest in filming Tattoo‘s two sequels, The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, saying that he especially loves “the notion of really talking about sex trafficking, and what Anonymous is doing and stuff with child porn.” Though he approached the first “as a one off,” he sees the potential for a franchise. Audiences must decide if they actually want to see one.
Among the topics broached during their discussion, the one I find myself least informed on — and, thus, most curious about — is the Angelina Jolie-led Cleopatra. After months of only Fincher, the actress, and Scott Rudin being attached, Eric Roth was brought on to rewrite Brian Helgeland‘s adaptation of Stacy Schiff‘s Cleopatra: A Life. That was the first big creative movement in quite some time; now that a scribe has been hired, Fincher can get down to the business of dishing details.
The standout quote tells us that he’s “not interested in a giant sword-and-sandal epic,” because “everyone knows we can fake [scope].” For him, the big goal seems to be answering this question: “What is it about this character that has purchased this place in our history and imagination that is relatable today?” That goes hand-in-hand with Rudin‘s interest in crafting “a much more grown-up sophisticated version.” I’d trust (and expect) all of those involved to deliver such a take, but I still want to know more about where exactly they’ll be going; sadly, that wasn’t brought up. We might get that in due time.
Fincher will go in a very different direction before or after Cleopatra with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which recently landed Se7en writer Andrew Kevin Walker as a scribe. (Scott Z. Burns‘ involvement is an unsure thing at the moment, though I imagine he’s still involved in some capacity, considering all he seems to have done beforehand.)
Nothing he said is any more revealing than past comments — some of which informed us that it would be 70% CGI, or how they might approach the Jules Verne novel — but I nonetheless found it engaging to hear. Read his perspective on conforming the story for modern audiences below:
“I was alive when a man stepped on the moon. It was awe-inspiring, the notion of that much care that NASA took. I’m sure it was the same thing for the Manhattan Project. The idea of a post-Civil War version of science fiction and the notion of being able to breathe underwater was so radical in its thinking. That’s pretty cool. If you’re going to do big tent-pole teenage PG-13 summer movies, it’s kind of cool that it would be this.”
But it isn’t all exciting ideas and potential developments. When asked if people should keep asking questions about Rendezvous with Rama, his Arthur C. Clarke adaptation that would reunite him with Morgan Freeman, Fincher put it this way:
“You should drop that. It’s great but it’s just a really expensive movie, and talk about the bones being picked by so many other stories …”
Due to his busy schedule, Freeman‘s advancing age, and the way it kept getting put to the side, I wasn’t ever expecting this to happen, and I honestly don’t really care. He kind of has enough big budget productions on his plate, anyway.
Of these projects, which would you most like to see Fincher helm?