Many decry Hollywood’s over-reliance on remakes, reboots, and sequels, but this January word surfaced about a remake that was actually incredibly promising. Director David Fincher committed to reteaming with his Gone Girl star Ben Affleck and screenwriter/author Gillian Flynn for a new take on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Strangers on a Train at Warner Bros.. Not only that, but this new conceit would take place in present day and revolve around an actor in the midst of an Oscar campaign. Be honest: you’d watch the hell out of that movie.
But it appears that we shouldn’t expect the Strangers on a Train remake to happen in the near future, as Vulture recently caught up with Flynn who said the following:
“We’re all so overcommitted right now that we’ll see on that one.”
Indeed, Flynn just relocated to Los Angeles to work with Fincher on the HBO series Utopia, which she describes as “a dark conspiracy thriller based around nerds who find a graphic novel that may or may not be telling bad secrets to the future.” Fincher is committed to directing every episode of the first season while Flynn writes every episode, and that’s on top of Fincher’s untitled HBO comedy about the early music video scene. However, that latter project was recently halted in the midst of production to address issues, and word has it that HBO would rather Fincher focus on Utopia instead.
But Utopia isn’t the only project that’s filling Flynn’s schedule this year: this fall she’s due to work with director Steve McQueen on the mob widows film Widows, based on the BBC series of the same name. She’s also, you know, an author, and no doubt has some works of her own bubbling up.
And we haven’t even gotten to Affleck yet, who’s due to finally start shooting his Argo directorial follow-up Live by Night late this year. He then has to return for Justice League: Part One, which probably starts shooting in the first half of 2016, and he’s also added a standalone Batman movie that he’s co-writing, starring in, and directing for Warner Bros. So yeah, Affleck’s schedule is booked solid for quite some time.
What does this mean for Strangers on a Train? It’s possible the project just languishes on the backburner and becomes one of those promising Fincher films that never comes to fruition. Or Fincher and Flynn could circle back around to it next year with a new lead actor. Or Affleck could make time in his schedule late next year, before Batman, or even in 2017 after Batman. Whatever the case, don’t expect it to hit theaters anytime soon.