12:00 pm EDT, February 15, 2019

5 movies David Fincher should direct now that ‘World War Z 2’ is canceled

The long-awaited sequel to Brad Pitt’s 2013 World War Z is officially dead, freeing director David Fincher to pursue new projects. Here are the 5 movies he should direct next.

In April 2017, Paramount announced that David Fincher would helm the sequel to World War Z, the Brad Pitt-led zombie movie that grossed over $500 million at the box office. Surely capitalizing on the success of The Walking Dead, World War Z was an unexpected hit. So, it’s not too surprising that the studio was eager to green light a sequel.

That’s when trouble started. Paramount struggled to hold onto a director who would commit to the project. When it was announced that David Fincher had signed on to direct, it took many by surprise. A sequel to a zombie movie seemed out of left field for a director who had recently made movies like Gone Girl and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. However, World War Z 2 presented an exciting opportunity to see Fincher reteam with Brad Pitt — after all, the pair had teamed up to make both Fight Club and Se7en.

News about the film stalled after Fincher’s announcement. Delays caused by Fincher’s work on Netflix’s Mindhunter and Brad Pitt’s roles in both Ad Astra and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood pushed the projected start date back. Now, reportedly due to budget issues, the film has reportedly been scrapped completely.

For fans of Fincher’s work, the cancelation of World War Z 2 is a mixed bag of good and bad news. The bad news is obvious: we now have an even longer wait for his follow up to Gone Girl. Sure, we have season two of Mindhunter to look forward to, but it’s not quite the same! The good news, however, is that Fincher is now free to pursue new and exciting projects! With that in mind, here are five movies David Fincher should direct now that World War Z 2 is canceled.

Adapt ‘The Secret History’

David Fincher’s last two movies were both adapted from best selling novels, so why not continue the streak with Donna Tartt’s The Secret History? This inverted detective story would align perfectly with Fincher’s filmography that is already full of movies that play with familiar fictional formulas and genre trappings. The Secret History would be an excellent addition to this oeuvre.

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The story is set at a prestigious liberal arts college in Vermont, centering on an exclusive group of students studying classics. The novel doesn’t hide the fact that one of the students is murdered, but rather, uses this murder to interrogate the complexity of friendships, personal identity, and more. Fincher’s proclivity for stories with murder at the center of it all makes The Secret History a ripe choice for his next movie.

Remake ‘Strangers on a Train’

Way back in 2014 in the midst of the Gone Girl press cycle, it was announced that screenwriter Gillian Flynn and David Fincher had plans to re-team for a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. Of course, Hitchcock’s film is already an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s psychological thriller of the same name. This twisted tale of murder and deception is the perfect recipe for Fincher’s taste.

The movie centers on the events that follow after a chance meeting of two men – the first a tennis star struggling to get a divorce from his wife, the other a mysterious but charismatic who is more than happy to get involved. When the tennis star’s wife turns up dead and that charismatic stranger demands the tennis star return the favor, things get very, very complicated. Reteaming with his Gone Girl collaborator Gillian Flynn would be a delight for fans everywhere.

‘The Social Network’ sequel

In 2010, we were still living in the midst of the golden age of Facebook. Before it was taken over by grandparents and fake news, Facebook was the place to be. It’s an understatement to call Facebook one of the pioneers of a new age of social media. As such, it’s no surprise that The Social Network was such a success. It’s broad appeal and subject matter – a purportedly true story about the rise of Facebook – made it one of the year’s best and must see movies. In the decade since the release of The Social Network, Facebook has experienced a lot of growing pains, plagued by scandals of its own making, calling into question the site’s legacy and underscoring the prescience of Fincher’s film.

I’ve never been a proponent of making a sequel to The Social Network, but if David Fincher is involved, I may change my tune. What made The Social Network special was the way it captured both the grit and glamour behind the rise of the site, demonstrating how betrayal and deceit were always inherent to the Facebook brand. Now, that deceit and betrayal has extended to Facebook’s treatment of its users. There’s a real opportunity for Fincher to create something unique that no one else can.

Spy thriller set in Cuba

In early 2016, President Obama flew to Havana, Cuba to celebrate the restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. In the months that followed, the U.S. embassy in Havana would begin to grow as it increased its presence in the city. Then, staff at the embassy began reporting what they described as “sonic attacks”:

The Americans suffered from headaches, dizziness, and a perplexing range of other symptoms. Later, specialists studied their brains and determined that the injuries resembled concussions, like those suffered by soldiers struck by roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. But there were no signs of impact.

The New Yorker published an article extensively detailing the events in Havana that, at this point, have no conclusive explanation. If this doesn’t sound like the perfect inspiration for a spy thriller, I don’t know what is. Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo flirts a lot with the spy genre; after all, the film’s protagonist is an expert researcher and hacker that rides a motorcycle and kicks ass. To see Fincher go deep in the genre would a natural and exciting direction for him.

Bring back the ’80s erotic thriller

If David Fincher is still interested in working with Brad Pitt, I’ve got an idea in mind: Bring back the ’80s erotic thriller. The ’80s was chalk full of these really stellar erotic thrillers, everything from Fatal Attraction to The Fourth Man to Body Double. Fincher already flirted with the edges of the genre with Gone Girl. The misandrist undertones of that film worked in tandem with the more melodramatic overtures to create something very modern and fresh. To see him work in a genre that has all been vacated would be an exciting move for this director.

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