If there’s one thing that Hollywood investors should learn, it’s that you shouldn’t get anywhere near a David Fincher project unless you’re willing to be very flexible with your budget. Flexible in an upward direction, of course.
Netflix are learning that lesson right now. They committed a staggering $100 million to a 26 episode adaptation of British drama series House of Cards, but are now being threatened with the loss of David Fincher, who is currently set to direct the first two episodes of the series. The show is being produced by Kevin Spacey, who is also going to star alongside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo actress Robin Wright, and Fincher is currently billed as executive producer.
Netflix, as investors, are keeping their hands clean of the entire dispute, and according to the story over at The Hollywood Reporter have directed all inquiries to the independent production company Media Rights Capital, who are handling the series. MRC have passively denied the rumours, saying that the show is going ahead with no problems, but multiple sources have claimed that David Fincher is threatening to depart from the series altogether.
Those of you who saw the original British series will probably remember that it was a political thriller, set in the boiling pot of the British government in the aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister, with fictional Conservative leader Francis Urquhart taking her place in the ministerial throne. The American series will be set in Washington, and if done well may be presumably be in a similar vein to The West Wing. As a story driven mostly by character and drama rather than action, it’s difficult to see where any particularly huge budget demands would come in, especially given the already generous budget of approximately $2 million per episode.
It’s worth noting that Beau Willimon (writer of Farragut North, the play upon which recent release Ides of March was based) is the head writer and showrunner, and as yet has made no comment on the rumours. It seems likely that MRC’s confidence is down to Willimon’s ability to keep relations running smoothly. Perhaps the threats Fincher is making will come to nothing, or perhaps they haven’t been made at all.
You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.