David Fincher Begins Putting Together Cast for HBO Comedy Pilot LIVING ON VIDEO

     February 7, 2015

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[Update: Deadline now reports that The Killing and Milkshake actor Tyler Ross has landed the lead role of Robby, so it appears that Mann is out of the running. Our original story follows below.]

Filmmaker David Fincher’s first post-Gone Girl project is taking shape. While Fincher has been busy putting together his upcoming slate over the last few months, including committing to directing every first-season episode of his HBO drama Utopia (written by Gone Girl author/scribe Gillian Flynn), he is first looking to tackle a different HBO series: Living on Video.

The show was borne out of an idea from Fincher himself and takes place in the music video world of the early 1980s, when the format was just taking off. Fincher has plenty of experience in this particular arena, as he got his start in music videos and built an impressive resume that includes Madonna’s “Vogue” and “Express Yourself” and Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”.

david-fincher-living-on-videoLiving on Video is envisioned as a half-hour comedy series that takes place in 1983 Los Angeles, centering on “a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic,” only to land a job as a PA for a company making music videos. Described as being in the vein of Entourage, the show will explore the then-exploding music video industry (and the crazy social world within) through the eyes of this newcomer. The project has been percolating for a few months now, but it appears that Fincher is ready to begin production on the pilot imminently as Deadline has some casting news for the series.

Per their report, Jason Flemyng (X-Men: First Class) is set to star, Kerry Condon (HBO’s Luck) and Elizabeth Lail (ABC’s Once Upon a Time) are in talks, and Thomas Mann is under consideration to play either Robby, the lead character, or his roommate who introduces Robby to the music video world.

living-on-video-kerry-condonFlemyng is expected to play a hard-living music video producer, while Condon is in negotiations to play an angry record executive overseeing videos and Lail is being eyed to fill the role of a “wide-eyed stylist and singer-wannabe” who works on the productions. Mann is apparently only being considered at this time, and is not in any stage of negotiations.

Flemyng is a familiar face to those aware of director Matthew Vaughn’s films and worked with Fincher on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Condon had a small recurring role on The Walking Dead and starred in HBO’s Luck, while Lail just finished up a stint as Frozen princess Anna on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. And Mann has had memorable turns in films like Beautiful Creatures and Project X, but is poised to break out big this summer when the Sundance hit Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is unveiled to audiences at large.

As with House of Cards, Fincher is set to direct the first two episodes of Living on Video in lieu of a pilot. The show was written by Rich Wilks (xXx) and Bob Stevenson, a friend of Fincher’s from his music video days. With this preliminary casting news arriving, I imagine we’ll start to hear firm confirmations in the coming weeks.

Fincher previously said that he’d be spending all of 2015 on Utopia so he will likely move straight into that once he wraps Living on Video, and he’s also developing a noir series for HBO as well with author James Ellroy. But he’s not completely leaving the feature film world behind. He recently committed to directing a fantastic-sounding Strangers on a Train remake starring Ben Affleck, to be written by Flynn. Exciting times for those who are fans of really, really, ridiculously good filmmaking.

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