These days it seems that Marvel Studios can do no wrong. Every movie the studio produces becomes a massive hit. However, that doesn't mean that everybody is a fan. Director David Fincher recently spoke about his new Netflix series Mindhunter, and in doing so talked about how great it was to have avenues for creating entertainment that was the exact opposite of well, Marvel. According to Fincher...
Look, there's a very large talent pool of people who don't feel there's much for them in terms of sustenance, you know, working for Marvel. And I think that if we can make a playground for them that is thoughtful, adult, interesting, complex, challenging, stories and figure out ways to pull them into it, you know, there's a chance at something that isn't lassoed and hogtied by three acts... I think it is an exciting time.
To be clear, in the audio of the conversation with Yellow King Film Boy, David Fincher is clearly making a bit of a joke, so he's not hammering the studio quite as hard as it might seem. Having said that, the director does go on to say that he doesn't think the sort of material that "pins peoples' ears back" is going to come from massive media conglomerates. Fincher clearly sees a sort of freedom to do more interesting stuff with a company like Netflix.
Rightly or wrongly, Marvel has a reputation for keeping tight control on the movies that get made, expecting those that work for the company to do things a certain way. While such a structure appears to be the recipe for box office success, it's not difficult to see that some might not care for it so much.
David Fincher is far from the first to be critical of the current situation in Hollywood that sees Marvel at the top of the heap. Nobody would accuse the films produced by Marvel to be the deepest or most intellectually stimulating movies being produced today, but their popularity cannot be denied. What's more, the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so overwhelming that every other studio seems to have shifted focus to massive franchises and interconnected movies. If that's the sort of entertainment that you want to make as a director, then you're in great shape, but if, as Fincher says, there's a lot of people who are looking for something else, those opportunities seem to be on the decline.
So if you're looking for David Fincher to direct a big comic book movie, you can probably stop holding your breath. The Fight Club director was approached to direct The Amazing Spider-Man, but Fincher has said his take on it would have been somewhat different, and it's possible that the lack of interest in trying something unique is part of what has soured him on this style of filmmaking.
Fincher seems much happier doing TV for Netflix. His new series, Mindhunter is available to stream now.