David Fincher Provides Updates on 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, CLEOPATRA, and Netflix Series HOUSE OF CARDS

     December 17, 2011

One of the most talented directors working today, David Fincher is somebody whose films are eagerly anticipated by a multitude of fans from the moment they’re announced. When word got out that a “Facebook movie” was in the works, 99% of people wrote it off as a cash grab. That all changed when Fincher signed on to The Social Network as director (a script by Aaron Sorkin didn’t hurt either). Fincher is currently doing the press rounds for his latest directorial effort: a large-scale R-rated adaptation of the wildly popular book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Steve is in New York for the film’s press junket and he recently got the chance to sit down with the director for an exclusive interview. While we’ll have the full interview up early next week, we wanted to share what Fincher had to say about a few of his potential upcoming projects. The director gave updates on his 3D adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the biopic epic Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie, and the Kevin Spacey-starred Netflix series House of Cards, for which he’s directing the pilot. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

david-fincher-imageBased on a British novel by Michael Dobbs, House of Cards is a political thriller that focuses on the issues of political ambition and blackmail. The pilot was written by Beau Willimon (The Ides of March), and Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are set to star. The show will premiere on Netflix, and Fincher revealed that he’s moving on to direct the pilot next:

“I’m casting and I’m going to Washington and Baltimore this weekend to look at locations.”

While House of Cards was originally adapted as a miniseries in Britain, Fincher’s version moves the action to the United States. Regarding 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fincher was brief, stating simply that he’s “waiting for a draft.” Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns initially scripted the project, but we recently learned that Fincher’s Seven scribe Andrew Kevin Walker was brought on to do some rewrite work.

It’s an ambitious undertaking, and it’s no surprise that Fincher wants to get the script in perfect shape before moving forward. While many were hoping that 20,000 Leagues would be the director’s next project, it sounds like that’s dependent upon how Walker’s draft comes out. While we don’t know specifics about Fincher’s take, he’s stated his intention to shoot in 3D and revealed that it’ll probably be about 70% CG.

cleopatra-book-coverFinally, the director provided an update on Cleopatra, a project that he’s said to be “circling” as a directorial vehicle:

“Cleopatra, I haven’t even begun. I’ve just spoken with Angie [Angelina 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?”

Jolie is attached to star in the historical epic, and Roth was recently brought on to write the screenplay. Roth previously wrote Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, so the two have a rapport. While I was hoping the director would get around to Cleopatra sooner rather than later, it sounds like this one’s a ways off; though it’s promising to hear that Fincher’s at least interested in taking it on. It’s also nice to hear his version of Cleopatra won’t be lacking his signature “Fincher” touch of the unexpected. Hopefully his discussions with Jolie and Roth prove fruitful.

Keep an eye on the site for more from Steve’s interview with Fincher, as the two covered everything from why he’s averse to releasing deleted scenes to his favorite Star Wars entry. If you missed Steve’s earlier story about Fincher likely shooting the Dragon Tattoo sequels back-to-back, click here.

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