David Fincher's Utopia Is Dead At HBO

Remake of the channel 4 show won't go ahead with director Fincher or writer Gillian Flynn.

In a true Utopia David Fincher would direct everything; and I wouldn't be adverse to Gone Girl scribe Gillian Flynn getting a hefty amount of creative work either. But unfortunately their proposed remake of Channel 4's Utopia for HBO has gone the way of the dodo. For those who've forgotten, the Channel 4 show (cancelled almost exactly a year ago) followed a group of people using a prophetic manuscript to try and avert forthcoming disasters, all the time being tracked by a shady organisation named The Network. It was critically well regarded, but lacked a wide enough appeal to justify more than two seasons. Fincher and HBO announced their plans to collaborate on a remake back in early 2014, quickly pegging Flynn to take up adaptation duties, A cast including Rooney Mara were reportedly ready to get down to brass tacks, but Deadline is saying that HBO and the director clashed over budget, putting the whole enterprise into rapid regression.

Fincher's shown that he's more than capable of beating the remake odds (his Dragon Tattoo is so much more essential than the amiable 2009 original), but we all know he's a perfectionist and not one for negotiating on major creative decisions. He's a single-minded vsionary, and that's why we love him, but ultimately it's HBO's money, and they don't seem to think Fincher's proposal merited the financial risk entailed. A bummer, but maybe that means Fincher and Flynn can get stuck into that Strangers on a Train remake wholesale? HBO retain an option on the series, but it's unclear if they have any intention to proceed with other artists.

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Writer, cinephile and owner of Vampire's Kiss on DVD. Take from that what you will.