- David Fincher
David Fincher Born David Andrew Leo Fincher
August 28, 1962
Denver, Colorado, US
Other names Dave Fincher, Davey, Finch, Occupation Film director, film producer, music video director Years active 1984–present Spouse Donya Fiorentino
Children Phelix Imogen (b. 25 April 1994)
David Andrew Leo Fincher (born August 28, 1962) is an American film and music video director. Known for his dark and stylish thrillers, such as Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), and Zodiac (2007), Fincher received Academy Award nominations for Best Director for his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and his 2010 film The Social Network, which also won him the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for Best Director. His next film will be 2011's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, an English-language adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel of the same name.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Propaganda Films
- 3 Music videos
- 4 Features
- 5 Future projects
- 6 Collaborators
- 7 Filmography
- 8 Reception
- 9 Further reading
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early life and career
Fincher was born on August 28, 1962 in Denver, Colorado, the son of Claire Mae (née Boettcher), a mental health nurse who worked in drug addiction programs, and Howard Kelly Fincher, who worked as a bureau chief for Life under the name Jack Fincher. When Fincher was two years old, the family moved to San Anselmo in Marin County, California. Fincher moved to Ashland, Oregon in his teens, where he graduated from Ashland High School. Inspired by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Fincher began making movies at age eight with an 8 mm camera. Fincher eschewed the film school route, getting a job loading cameras and doing other hands-on work for John Korty’s Korty Films. He was later hired by Industrial Light & Magic in 1983, where he worked on productions for Twice Upon a Time, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In 1984, he left ILM to direct a commercial for the American Cancer Society, that would show a fetus smoking a cigarette. This quickly brought Fincher to the attention of producers in Los Angeles and he was given the chance to direct the documentary The Beat of the Live Drum featuring Rick Springfield in 1985. Though he would continue to direct spots for companies like Revlon, Converse, Nike, Pepsi, Sony, and Levi's, Fincher soon discovered music videos and went on to direct many promos.
Set on a directing career, Fincher joined video-production company Propaganda Films and started off directing music videos and commercials. Like Fincher, other directors such as Michael Bay, Samuel Bayer, Meiert Avis, David Kellogg, Antoine Fuqua, Neil LaBute, Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek, Michel Gondry, Paul Rachman, Zack Snyder, Gore Verbinski, and Alex Proyas honed their talents at Propaganda Films before moving on to feature films.
Fincher directed big budget music videos for artists such as Madonna (including "Express Yourself", "Vogue", "Oh Father" and "Bad Girl"), Billy Idol ("Cradle of Love"), Paula Abdul (including "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me", "Straight Up", "Forever Your Girl" and "Cold Hearted"), Aerosmith ("Janie's Got a Gun"), The Rolling Stones (including "Love Is Strong"), Roy Orbison ("She's a Mystery to Me"), Nine Inch Nails ("Only"), A Perfect Circle ("Judith"), Jody Watley (including "Real Love" and "Most of All"), Rick Springfield, Jermaine Stewart (We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off), Steve Winwood, Neneh Cherry ("Heart"), George Michael ("Freedom '90"), The Motels "Shame", Michael Jackson ("Who Is It"), The Wallflowers, Wire Train and The Outfield, including "All the Love (in the World)", "Every Time You Cry" and "No Surrender".
After directing several music videos, Fincher's feature debut was Alien 3 (1992). While it received an Oscar nomination for special effects, the film was not well received by critics or moviegoers. Fincher became involved with several disputes with 20th Century Fox over script and budget issues. In "The Director’s Cut", he blames the producers for not putting the necessary trust in him. After this, Fincher retreated back into the world of commercial and music video directing, including the video for the Grammy Award winning track "Love Is Strong" (1994) by The Rolling Stones.
In 1995, Fincher directed Seven. The film, based on a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker, told the story of two detectives (played in the movie by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) tracking down a serial killer who bases his killings on the seven deadly sins. The film grossed more than $100 million domestically (over $300 million internationally). The chairman of New Line Cinema, Arnold Kopelson, originally refused to allow filming of the shocking climactic scene. With the aid of Brad Pitt, who stated that he would not be involved with the picture if its ending were changed, Fincher was allowed to film the original scene and use it in the final cut.
After the success of Seven, Fincher went on to film The Game (1997). The story focused on a closed-off San Francisco businessman (played by Michael Douglas) who receives an unusual gift from his younger brother (Sean Penn), in which he becomes the main player of a role-playing game that takes over his life. The film had middling box-office returns despite being well-received by critics.
Fight Club was a screen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name about an insomniac office worker who opens up a club devoted exclusively to bare knuckle fighting for men. Featuring Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, and Seven collaborator Brad Pitt, the 1999 film was an early disappointment at the box-office and received mixed reviews. Fight Club was panned by several critics and alienated audiences leading to its box office failure in the United States.
However, many critics and audiences later changed their perceptions and the film appeared on many 'best of the year' lists and soon developed a following. Entertainment Weekly, which had originally given the film a D-, later ranked the DVD #1 on its list of 50 Essential DVDs. Exceptional sales have since established it as a cult film.
In 2002, Fincher followed up with the thriller Panic Room. The film earned over $92 million at the U.S. box office. The story follows a single mother (Jodie Foster) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart) as they hide in a safe room of their new house, away from criminals (Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam and Fight Club collaborator Jared Leto) bent on finding a missing fortune. Fincher acknowledged Panic Room as a more mainstream thriller, describing the film, on the DVD's audio commentary, as "[basically] a date movie" and a "really good B movie" about "two people trapped in a closet".
Five years after Panic Room, Fincher returned on March 2, 2007 with Zodiac, an adaptation of Robert Graysmith’s books about the hunt for the Zodiac Killer that starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr., Anthony Edwards, and Brian Cox. The first of Fincher’s films to be shot digitally, the majority of the film was recorded on a Thompson Viper Film Stream Camera. However, high-speed film cameras were used for the Blue Rock Springs and Presidio Heights murder scenes for the slow-motion shots. It was originally to be released in the fall of 2006 but was pushed back after Fincher refused to cut 20 minutes off the film.
Zodiac was one of the best-reviewed films of that year, with only two other 2007 films appearing on more top-10 lists (No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood). However, the film struggled at the box office in the U.S., earning only $33 million, but did well overseas with a foreign gross of $51.7 million. Worldwide, Zodiac was a decent success. Despite an aggressive campaign by the studio, expectations surrounding Robert Downey, Jr.’s supporting performance, Fincher’s direction and Vanderbilt’s adapted script, the film did not earn a single Academy Award nomination.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
A story about life and death, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story of the same name. The film was Fincher’s third with Brad Pitt. The film started shooting in November 2006 in New Orleans, before moving on to the Virgin Islands, Montreal, and L.A.. Both Zodiac and this film are co-productions of Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros.. The budget for the film was estimated at $150 million, partly due to the CGI effects used to reverse the aging in Brad Pitt’s character. The film is the first PG-13 film directed by Fincher. It received 13 nominations at the 81st Academy Awards, including Fincher's first nomination for Best Director. It won three Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
The Social Network
Fincher directed the 2010 film The Social Network, about the legal battles of Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook. The film features an Oscar-winning screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, adapted from the book The Accidental Billionaires. Featuring a young cast ensemble, the film is produced by Scott Rudin, Kevin Spacey and Michael DeLuca. Filming started in October 2009 and was released a year later, to critical acclaim. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross created the Oscar-winning soundtrack for the film, Fincher had long been a fan of Reznor's work in Nine Inch Nails, even putting a remix of "Closer" in the beginning of Seven and directing the music video for "Only". The film went on to win many awards, including four Golden Globes (including Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Director), three BAFTAs (including Best Direction), and three Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Fincher has begun filming of the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which is based on the book by Stieg Larsson, with a script written by Steven Zaillian. The film is being shot in Sweden with Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, Robin Wright as Erika Berger, Stellan Skarsgård as Martin Vanger, and Christopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger. The film is expected to be released on December 21, 2011. Along with Dragon Tattoo, Fincher and Zaillian have signed a two picture deal to also adapt The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, which will be shot back to back if Dragon Tattoo is successful. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are currently creating the soundtrack for the film (their second collaboration with Fincher).
On November 1, 2007, Variety reported that Fincher was attached to do an adaptation of a French graphic novel called The Killer by Alexis Nolent, which was optioned by Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, with Pitt attached to star in the film. Scripted by Allesandro Camon, the film is about a top assassin, with his conscience getting the better of him, and a cop on his tail.
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
An announcement was made on November 9, 2009 that Andrew Kevin Walker and David Fincher will re-team for the remake of the 1975 film The Reincarnation of Peter Proud. This marks the fifth time Andrew Kevin Walker and Fincher will work together. Walker wrote Fincher's 1995 thriller Seven, did uncredited rewrites for Fight Club and The Game and made a cameo appearance in Panic Room.
On September 5, 2008, Firstshowing.net reported that Matt Damon is in talks to play Eliot Ness in Ness with Fincher lined up to direct an adaptation of the graphic novel Torso by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko, and that the producers were looking for locations in Cleveland, Ohio.
Variety reported that Paramount Pictures will make another animated film with David Fincher, based on the Heavy Metal comics. Fincher is set to direct one of the film’s eight or nine segments, which will also feature other directors such as animator Tim Miller and magazine owner and publisher Kevin Eastman directing another. The film is envisioned as being an animated, adult-themed R-rated film. On July 14, 2008 Paramount Pictures announced the movie is put on hold. On September 4, 2008, it was announced the film was to be made by Columbia Pictures, and a few of the directors attached to make a segment each includes Zack Snyder, Gore Verbinski and Guillermo del Toro, as well as James Cameron.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Rendezvous with Rama
Fincher has been attempting to make a film based on the science fiction novel of the same name written by Arthur C. Clarke with Morgan Freeman cast in the lead. In 2008, Fincher announced he was no longer making the film due to Freeman's health, but Freeman said in late 2010 that Fincher is "still part of the conversation."
House of Cards
Fincher often casts certain actors more than once in his films. Fincher has consistently worked with Richmond Arquette, Bob Stephenson, Christopher John Fields, Brad Pitt and Joel Bissonnette.
Actor Alien 3
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Social Network
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Richmond Arquette Joel Bissonnette John Cassini Christopher John Fields Rachel Flanagan Duffy Gaver John Getz Zach Grenier Mark Boone Junior Elias Koteas Jared Leto Barry Livingston George Maguire Rooney Mara Michael Massee Owen Masterson Angelina McCoy Holt McCallany Evan Mirand Brad Pitt Paul Schulze David Lee Smith Bob Stephenson Matt Winston
Collaborator, Role Alien 3
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Social Network
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Kirk Baxter, Editor Donald Graham Burt, Production Designer Jeff Cronenweth, Cinematographer James Haygood, Editor Darius Khondji, Cinematographer Ren Klyce, Sound Designer Laray Mayfield, Casting Director Trent Reznor, Composer Atticus Ross, Composer Scott Rudin, Producer Harris Savides, Cinematographer Howard Shore, Composer Andrew Kevin Walker, Screenwriter Angus Wall, Editor
- Alien 3 (1992)
- Seven (1995)
- The Game (1997)
- Fight Club (1999)
- Panic Room (2002)
- Zodiac (2007)
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
- The Social Network (2010)
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
- "Dance This World Away", Rick Springfield (1984)
- "Celebrate Youth", Rick Springfield (1984)
- "Bop Til You Drop", Rick Springfield (1984)
- "Shame", The Motels (1985)
- "Shock", The Motels (1985)
- "Celebrate Youth", Rick Springfield (1985)
- "All The Love", The Outfield (1986)
- "Every Time You Cry", The Outfield (1986)
- "One Simple Thing", Stabilizers (1986)
- "She Comes On", Wire Train (1987)
- "Should She Cry", Wire Train (1987)
- "Endless Nights", Eddie Money (1987)
- "Downtown Train", Patty Smyth (1987)
- "I Don't Mind At All", Bourgeois Tagg (1987)
- "Notorious", Loverboy (1987)
- "Love Will Rise Again", Loverboy (1987)
- "Johnny B", The Hooters (1987)
- "Storybook Story", Mark Knopfler (1987)
- "Can I Hold You", Colin Hay (1987)
- "No Surrender", The Outfield (1987)
- "Say You Will", Foreigner (1987)
- "Don't Tell Me The Time", The Motels (1987)
- "Tell It To the Moon", The Motels (1988)
- "Heart of Gold", Johnny Hates Jazz (1988)
- "Englishman in New York", Sting (1988)
- "Shattered Dreams" (second version),
Johnny Hates Jazz (1988)
- "Get Rhythm", Ry Cooder (1988)
- "Most of All", Jody Watley (1988)
- "Roll With It", Steve Winwood (1988)
- "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" (version 1988), Paula Abdul (1988)
- "Holding On", Steve Winwood (1988)
- "Heart", Neneh Cherry (1989)
- "Bamboleo" (second version), Gypsy Kings (1989)
- "Straight Up", Paula Abdul (1989)
- "Most Of All", Jody Watley (1989)
- "Real Love", Jody Watley (1989)
- "Bamboleo" (third version), Gypsy Kings (1989)
- "She's a Mystery to Me", Roy Orbison (1989)
- "Forever Your Girl", Paula Abdul (1989)
- "Express Yourself", Madonna (1989)
- "The End of the Innocence", Don Henley (1989)
- "Cold Hearted", Paula Abdul (1989)
- "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" (version 1989), Paula Abdul (1988)
- "Oh Father", Madonna (1989)
- "Janie's Got a Gun", Aerosmith (1989)
- "Vogue", Madonna (1990)
- "Cradle of Love", Billy Idol (1990)
- "L.A. Woman", Billy Idol (1990)
- "Freedom '90", George Michael (1990)
- "Bad Girl", Madonna (1993)
- "Who Is It?", Michael Jackson (1993)
- "Love Is Strong", The Rolling Stones (1994)
- "6th Avenue Heartache", The Wallflowers (1996)
- "Judith", A Perfect Circle (2000)
- "Only", Nine Inch Nails (2005)
Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Overall Top Critics Alien 3 38% N/A N/A Seven 85% 65% 65 The Game 80% 71% 61 Fight Club 81% 63% 66 Panic Room 76% 71% 65 Zodiac 89% 81% 78 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 72% 76% 70 The Social Network 97% 100% 95 Average 77.5% 75% 72
Film Release date Revenue Budget Reference United States Outside United States Worldwide Alien 3 May 22, 1992 $55,473,545 $104,340,953 $159,814,498 $50 million  Seven September 22, 1995 $100,125,643 $227,186,216 $327,311,859 $33 million  The Game September 12, 1997 $48,323,648 $61,100,000 $109,423,648 $50 million  Fight Club October 15, 1999 $37,030,102 $63,823,651 $100,853,753 $63 million  Panic Room March 29, 2002 $96,397,334 $100,000,081 $196,397,415 $48 million  Zodiac March 2, 2007 $33,080,084 $51,705,830 $84,785,914 $65 million  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button December 25, 2008 $127,509,326 $206,422,757 $333,932,083 $150 million  The Social Network October 1, 2010 $94,342,092 $105,549,651 $208,988,743 $40 million  Total $592,281,774 $920,129,139 $1,512,410,913 $509 million
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- ^ "Golden Globes: Colin Firth crowned while The Social Network wins lion's share". Guardian. January 17, 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/jan/17/golden-globes-ricky-gervais-colin-firth-social-network. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- ^ "Trent Reznor Scoring David Fincher's Version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"". Slashfilm. January 7, 2011. http://www.slashfilm.com/trent-reznor-scoring-david-finchers-version-the-girl-dragon-tattoo/. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
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- ^ "Rumor: Matt Damon in David Fincher's Torso Adaptation?". Firstshowing.net. September 5, 2008. http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/09/05/rumor-matt-damon-in-david-finchers-torso-adaptation. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- ^ Par, Fincher put pedal to 'Metal' Eastman, Miller to direct animated segments
- ^ var authorId = "" by Orlando Parfitt IGN UK (July 14, 2008). "Heavy Metal remake on hold". Movies.ign.com. http://movies.ign.com/articles/888/888803p1.html. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- ^ "Zack Snyder, Gore Verbinski, Guillermo del Toro Directing Heavy Metal Segments?". Firstshowing.net. September 4, 2008. http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/09/04/zack-snyder-gore-verbinski-guillermo-del-toro-directing-heavy-metal-segments. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- ^ MTV Movies Blog, EXCLUSIVE: David Fincher Confirms That Work Continues On '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea'.
- ^ "Fincher's 'Rendezvous' "not going to happen"". http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/news/a132667/finchers-rendezvous-not-going-to-happen.html.
- ^ DiChiara, Tom "Morgan Freeman, David Fincher Still Planning A 'Rendezvous With Rama'", MTV News, October 11, 2010
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- ^ "Netflix To Enter Original Programming With Mega Deal For David Fincher-Kevin Spacey Series House Of Cards". deadline.com. 2011-03-15. http://www.deadline.com/2011/03/netflix-to-enter-original-programming-with-mega-deal-for-david-fincher-kevin-spacey-drama-series-house-of-cards/.
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- ^ "Zodiac Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/zodiac/. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- ^ "Zodiac Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/zodiac/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- ^ "Zodiac Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. November 28, 2006. http://www.metacritic.com/movie/zodiac. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
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- ^ "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/curious_case_of_benjamin_button/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
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- David Fincher at the Internet Movie Database
- David Fincher at AllRovi
- David Fincher at Rotten Tomatoes
- David Fincher Blog at fincherfanatic.blogspot.com
- Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database
- Music Videos & Commercials at anonymous content
- David Fincher interview with Paul Guyot of www.dvdtalk.com
- David Fincher interview with Michael Moses of www.drdrew.com
- David Fincher interview with Gavin Smith of edward-norton.org
- Esquire magazine interview with Fincher
- IndieLondon interview with Fincher
- David Fincher Didn't Want To Make 'Another Serial-Killer Movie' ... Until Zodiac Came Along – Part 1 interview with MTV
- David Fincher Discusses Reunion With Brad Pitt, Possible Fight Club Musical – Part 2 interview with MTV
- CHUD: Exclusive Interview: David Fincher
- Movieweb: David Fincher Talks Zodiac: Director's Cut
- LA Weekly – David Fincher discusses Zodiac's rising star
Awards and achievements National Board of Review Preceded by
for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
National Board of Review Preceded by
for The Social Network
Films directed by David Fincher 1990s 2000s 2010sThe Social Network (2010) • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) BAFTA Award for Best Direction (2010–2034)
David Fincher (2010)
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