Well here’s one that caught us by surprise: David Fincher has agreed to executive produce a Chinatown prequel series for Netflix, which has hired original screenwriter Robert Towne to write the pilot.
The series would follow a young Jake Gittes, the character played by Jack Nicholson in the original film and its subsequent 1990 sequel, The Two Jakes. Roman Polanski directed the original 1974 classic, which co-starred Faye Dunaway, and was produced by Robert Evans.
Fincher and Towne will executive produce alongside Josh Donen, and while Netflix hopes Fincher will direct the pilot, that isn’t yet part of the deal, which calls only for a single pilot script.
Debuting in 1974, director Roman Polanski’s neo-noir mystery Chinatown—based on the real life California Water Wars of the early 20th Century—has since firmly wedged itself in the greatest-of-all-time conversation. (It was nominated for 11 Oscars that year, with Towne taking home the only win for Best Original Screenplay). Nicholson stars as Jake Gittes, a private detective hired on a routine adultery case that soon spins out into a tangled web of corruption across Los Angeles. Nicholson reprised the role 16 years later for a sequel, The Two Jakes, which he also directed from a script by Towne.
Netflix has served as Fincher’s home for several years between House of Cards and Mindhunter. The streamer is also backing Fincher’s black-and-white movie Mank, which stars Gary Oldman as Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and Tom Burke as Orson Welles.
Deadline broke the news. More to come…