Of all the projects David Fincher has attached himself To over the years, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” is certainly the most mainstream-ready. Set up at Disney and set to be shot in 3D, it’s definitely Fincher’s first step towards tentpole filmmaking and while we’d probably rather see the director do something, anything else, the fact that Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion,” “The Informant!“) penned the script gives up hope this will be a cut above the rest.
Throughout this career, Fincher has always been on the cutting edge of technology. Even with something like last year’s “The Social Network” — which on the face of it doesn’t seem to require any digital work — Fincher used bits and bytes to double up Armie Hammer; “Zodiac” featured extensive digital work to recreate sections of San Francisco; we don’t need to tell you about “Fight Club” or “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button” and even the single-setting “Panic Room” found Fincher playing with his computers particularly for the “single take” break-in sequence. Well, the director plans to get out his laptop again.
At an Actors Studio Q&A at the Swedish Film Institute (via /Film), Fincher was asked about doing performance capture or motion capture work in future projects and in answer he revealed that ‘20,000 Leagues’ will be his most CG-heavy feature to date. “I would love to do something like that. I would love to do something probably more like ‘Avatar‘ than ‘Tintin.’ I like the idea of something that is a little more…complicated. [chuckles] I love the idea of a ‘cartoon’, but I would like it to be sort of very, very dense. And, in fact, ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ will be probably 70% CG…I love motion capture and think it’s only in its infancy, and eventually there won’t be a difference between motion capture and acting, because that’s all motion capture is, is being able to capture acting.”
It’s certainly an intriguing bit of info from the director, one that points to a film that will be a bigger undertaking than we initially figured, and certainly, Fincher will be looking to push the boundaries of what has already been done. Whether or not this will be his next film remains to be seen. With Steve Zaillian already tasked to write “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” if “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” turns out be the mega hit Sony is hoping for, we won’t be surprised if Fincher once again returns to the world of Lisbeth Salander.