David Fincher Teaming with James Ellroy for Noir Crime Series at HBO

By September 8, 2014

Director David Fincher almost ventured into the world of film noir with an adaptation of The Black Dahlia, but instead Brian De Palma ended up behind the camera for that feature film. But it turns out Fincher might finally get to enter the dark genre by way of famed author James Ellroy after all, but this time it’ll be on television.

The Playlist has learned that David Fincher is teaming with James Ellroy to create a “noir-ish crime show” set in Los Angeles, not unlike the 1950s-set L.A. Confidential, the film which was based on Ellroy’s original novel. Right now the two of them are talking to HBO about the project, but it’s far from a done deal as it’s only sparking discussions at this point.

If this project comes together, Fincher fans should get extremely excited. The director was very anxious to turn The Black Dahlia into a five-hour miniseries with Tom Cruise in the lead, but it never came together and Fincher ended up directing the impressive 2007 film Zodiac instead. It sounds like this potential project could make-up for the miniseries we never got (and the lackluster film adaptation we ended up getting).

David Fincher

Fincher generally seems interested in moving to television as that medium becomes a beacon for long-form storytelling. He’s already slated to reteam with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn for a TV series called “Utopia,” and if this new series comes through, he’ll be busy on the small screen for at least a couple years. And let’s not forget that he helped kickstart “House of Cards” for Netflix, and that has become a monster cultural and critical hit.

As limited series and miniseries projects like “The Americans” and “True Detective” are becoming hits, TV seems much more appealing for Fincher to play in, especially with how substantial his feature films usually end up being. Here’s hoping we finally get to see the director tackle the classic noir genre, and that HBO gives him a big sandbox to play in if this developing series ends up at the cable network.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.
  • I do enjoy a good TV show, as it’s like reading a good book – you look forward to reading the next chapter to see what happens next. A good plot is always a winner in my book 🙂