David Fincher Is Working on a ‘Film Appreciation’ TV Series Where Guests Discuss Favorite Movies

The "Mank" director is juggling a handful of upcoming projects, including a prequel to the 1974 "Chinatown" film.
David Fincher on the set of "Se7en"
David Fincher on the set of "Se7en"
New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection

David Fincher made one of 2020’s most acclaimed movies in “Mank,” but the longtime director has no plans to rest easy following that the Netflix film’s warm reception.

Fincher discussed a handful of projects he is working on during a recent interview with Aaron Sorkin on the Director’s Guild of America’s The Director’s Cut podcast. In the interview, Fincher outlined three projects he was working on, including a limited series that will be written by Robert Towne, who wrote the script for the 1974 “Chinatown” film and the first two “Mission Impossible” movies.

“I am playing with adapting a French graphic novel about an assassin,” Fincher said on the podcast. “Robert Towne and I are trying to break a limited series that is sort of a prequel to ‘Chinatown’ — Jake Gittes’ time in Chinatown with Lou Escobar. And I’m working on a show about film appreciation and about movies that I love, with guests I love, about movies that they love.”

The prequel series based on “Chinatown” has been in the works for quite some time; Deadline reported in November 2019 that Fincher and Towne were developing the project for Netflix. The original “Chinatown” film, which was directed by Roman Polanski, starred Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway and focused on a private detective’s efforts to expose an adulterer, only to find himself entangled in a web of deceit and corruption. At the time, Deadline reported that the prequel series would focus on a younger version of Nicholson’s character as he works in a town where “the wealthy and corruption involves areas like land, oil, and gangs.”

As for Fincher, the celebrated “Mank” marked the end of the filmmaker’s long gap between films. His last directorial feature prior to “Mank” was 2014’s “Gone Girl,” which also received critical acclaim. He previously directed similarly well-received motion pictures such as “The Social Network” and “Fight Club,” and he helmed more than a half-a-dozen episodes of “Mindhunter” over the last few years.

Fincher and Sorkin discussed a handful of other topics during the podcast, including the complexities involved in creating “Mank” as well as Fincher’s father’s, the late screenwriter and journalist Jack Fincher, reaction to “Seven.”

The duo’s full conversation can be heard via SoundCloud.

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