We thought we were getting two David Fincher HBO shows — but now it looks likely that we won’t even be getting one. Utopia, an adaptation of British show of the same name (co-written by Gillian Flynn), has had a full cast of actors in rehearsals for over a month, but Deadline reports that they have all now been released.
The plot would have revolved around a group of graphic novel enthusiasts who find a manuscript for the sequel of the their favorite book and soon they find themselves in a thriller of their own. It’s reported that the major factor in the breakdown was finances (shock, horror). Fincher was apparently demanding more and HBO steadfastly refused, already concerned after the pilot reportedly went way over budget. However, the likelihood of Utopia being revived is strong. HBO owns the rights and is supposedly very keen on the project, they just need a new (cheaper) director.
The second Fincher-HBO project was Video Synchronicity, which was supposed to follow the fortunes of a would-be filmmaker who gets his break making music videos in the 80s. Production stopped in June due problems with the script, but /Film reports that the project is now “beyond dead”. Shame, seeing as four complete episodes have already been shot.
Last month HBO president Michael Lombardo voiced his concern about the difficulty of making two shows at once, saying Fincher’s “not good at letting us go ahead and do what we needed to do on Video Synchronicity while he was working on Utopia.”