Fincher’s Ness May Not Be Untouchable

Matt Damon-starrer waits for green light

It’s been rumoured for a while that Matt Damon would be starring as Eliot Ness, the Treasury agent most famous for leading the legendary Untouchables, in David Fincher’s Ness, a thriller which would tell the tale of the great detective’s investigation of the brutal Torso murders in the late 1930s.

And now EW.com is reporting that Damon has indeed signed on to star in the movie, along with Casey Affleck and Rachel McAdams – but despite that serious star wattage, the movie may not go ahead.

Paramount, the studio which holds the rights to the project (which may or may not be adapted from Brian Michael Bendis’ graphic novel, Torso), has until December 15 to decide whether or not to make the film, and is taking its time making up its mind. A studio spokesperson told EW that they had only just received the final script, by Ehren Kruger, and would be making a decision before the deadline.

However, the plot thickens. Jeff Wells, over at Hollywood Elsewhere, says that the word on the street is that Paramount is holding off on the greenlight for Ness in the hopes that Fincher will instead commit to the chef-based comedy with Keanu Reeves that was first mooted last week. It is believed that this might be a resurrection of Seared, the dark comedy that Fincher was going to make with Brad Pitt a number of years ago, but at the moment, concrete details aren’t forthcoming.

Although it might seem unusual that Paramount might be holding off on giving Ness the green light, especially with Fincher likely to be Oscar-nominated for The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, bear in mind that they might be nervous about comparisons to Zodiac, Fincher’s last movie about an obsessive hunt for a serial killer. Although that was critically acclaimed, it failed at the box office and, despite the presence of Damon, McAdams and the growing appeal of Affleck The Younger, they might be scared about the same thing happening to Ness.

The Torso murders, by the way, were a series of brutal murders that took place in the Cleveland area between 1935 and 1938, and were investigated by Ness, who was by then the Public Safety Director of Cleveland. To read more about them and the outcome of the investigation, click here to go to Wikipedia.

As for Fincher’s film, more as we get it. But what would you rather see, readers – chef comedy or period crime thriller? Or, in an ideal world, both?