David Fincher Will Direct Every Episode of UTOPIA’s First Season on HBO

     September 29, 2014

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With a new David Fincher film set for release this Friday (the highly anticipated Gone Girl, obviously), talk has turned to what the filmmaker will do next.  There was a significant wait between The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl, as Fincher was developing his 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake at Disney for some time before the project floundered.  More recently, Fincher flirted with possibly reteaming with Aaron Sorkin on Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic, but he walked when Sony was unwilling to give him the kind of creative control he was insisting upon (no doubt still sour from the contentious Dragon Tattoo production).  He also even took a meeting on Star Wars, but turned it down.

Fincher recently said that he will be focusing on his HBO series Utopia for all of 2015, and now we know why: the filmmaker has revealed that he intends to direct every episode of the show’s first season.  More after the jump.

david-fincher-utopia-hboFincher enjoyed his collaboration with author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn on Gone Girl so much that the two joined forces to develop a remake of the Channel 4 TV series Utopia for HBO.  That show is now Fincher’s main focus, as he tells The Guardian (via The Playlist) that he plans to direct the entire first season of the show:

“I like the world of it. I like the characters – I love Dennis’ [Kelly, creator of the UK show] honesty and affinity for the nerds. I mean, I’ve always been a bit of a junior conspiracy theorist cos I don’t have time to connect them all! But it’s nice to see that somebody has.”

The original UK series revolves around die-hard fans of an underground graphic novel who learn that the author has secretly written a sequel, launching them into their own pop culture thriller.  The story nugget sounds right up Fincher’s alley, and he seemed to have fun developing and directing the first two episodes of House of Cards for Netflix.  Close friend Steven Soderbergh, who recently directed every episode in the first season of Cinemax’s excellent The Knick, has no doubt encouraged Fincher to attempt the same.

gone-girl-david-fincher-rosamund-pikeThe last time a filmmaker directed every episode of an HBO series we got True Detective.  The fact that the entire season was funneled through the lens of a singular filmmaking voice was one of the things that made True Detective so special, and it’s one of the reasons I’m dismayed that HBO is opting for multiple directors in season two.  Nevertheless, the prospect of seeing a filmmaker like Fincher tackle the conceit is fantastic.

For what it’s worth, Fincher also confirmed to The Guardian that the Steve Jobs biopic “was definitely a possibility,” and then added, “but it got sideways very fast.”  Though I find Fincher to be one of the most exciting directors working in the feature film world today, I’m not going to argue against seeing what he can do in long-form format at HBO by exacting complete creative control over an entire season of television.  Utopia most likely won’t premiere on HBO until sometime in 2016.

If you fancy a look back at Fincher’s filmography before catching Gone Girl this weekend, be sure to read up on Matt’s retrospective pieces.

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David Fincher Utopia HBO

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