By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 1, 2011 at 4:24AM
David Fincher's last two films -- "The Social Network" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" -- have found the director stepping back from the grittier, grimmer fare of past efforts like "Fight Club" and "Se7en." And while the Academy has recognized but not yet rewarded those efforts, the director looks like he's fully embracing his pulp side once again. Of course, there's the upcoming Christmas downer "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and now, the helmer has rounded up another project to put on his plate of potential next directing gigs.
Vulture reports that Fincher has optioned Jason Starr's novel "Panic Attack." Ted Griffin ("Ocean's Eleven," "Matchstick Men") has been tapped to write the script that will follow "a New York shrink who shoots and kills a home intruder, then faces a media frenzy and the victim's vengeful accomplice." Sounds somewhat in the vein of Fincher's underrated single-setting "Panic Room" though with broader scope that opens up into the after effects of the home invasion. The author told Vulture, "...the thing about 'Panic Attack' is that there’s a really compelling antihero in this guy Johnny Long [the revenge-minded cohort stalking the psychiatrist and his family]. He’s a very clever, Ripley-esque psychopath.” That would certainly explain Fincher's attraction to the material.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Fincher takes it on as a directing gig or just throws his weight behind it as a producer -- it will probably depend on the script. And he's already got a number of high profile films he's eyeing with the 3D "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" still in the works and "Cleopatra," which Angelina Jolie is chasing him for. And Sony is certainly going to want to lock him down for the inevitable "The Girl Who Played with Fire" which Steve Zaillian was hired to write last summer even before 'Dragon Tattoo' started filming.
The project is set up under Fincher's newly formed Panic Pictures production shingle, which is under the umbrella of financiers Media Rights Capital. So for now, just toss "Panic Attack" onto the pile of stuff Fincher will look at once 'Dragon Tattoo' is locked and delivered.