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Fincher In Talks To Direct Zodiac
Based on one of America’s most notorious serial killers

20 January 2005  |  Written by   

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It’s been nearly three years since he did his best Hitchcock impression with Panic Room, and since then David Fincher – one of the most vibrant, inventive directors in American cinema and, of course, the genius behind Seven and Fight Club – has been relatively quiet, circling projects like The Lords Of Dogtown and time-travelling drama The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, without any luck.

Today, though, it was announced that he has decided on his next project, the serial killer thriller Zodiac. Fincher’s film will be based on the hunt for the real-life psycho, The Zodiac Killer, who terrorised the San Francisco area over a period of twelve years (1966-1978) by recording at least 37 kills.

The Warner Bros/Paramount co-production (the same studios who nixed Button for being too expensive) will focus on the obsessive efforts of three people to bring Zodiac to justice, and the havoc it wreaked in their private lives. Fincher is currently merely in talks to direct the project, so very little is known about whether the film will focus on Zodiac – upon whom Dirty Harry’s grinning, leering, nutjob loon Scorpio was based - as well as the cops chasing him. Either way, though, this sounds awfully intriguing – Fincher has shown before that he works best when dealing with dark material, and it doesn’t come much darker than this.

Jamie Vanderbilt, the screenwriter of the John Travola-Samuel L. Jackson dud, Basic, is currently knocking up the script, based on two books, Robert Graysmith’s Zodiac and its 2000 sequel, Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America’s Most Elusive Serial Killer Revealed.

That’s right, folks. If you’re at all on the ball, the words ‘elusive’ and ‘unmasked’ should tell you that Zodiac – like our very own Jack The Ripper – was never caught. There are plenty of suspects, including the one named in Graysmith’s book (who we’re not going to name for legal reasons and, y’know, just in case – the security guards here at Empire Towers aren’t exactly on the ball), and amazingly they’re all still alive, suggesting that in 1978, the Zodiac – who killed people at random, it seems – simply got bored and stopped. Ulp.

Which means that he could be still out there now, dear readers. Maybe Zodiac is that guy who comes in to fix your printer in the morning – you know, the one with the wild staring eyes and the weird stain on his overalls. Or maybe he’s that guy on the bus this morning, who leant just a little too close. Or maybe, just maybe, he’s…. BEHIND YOU! BWAH HA HA! BWAH HA HA HA! BWAH… oh. Ahem. Sorry. Got carried away.

Anyway, Zodiac – if Fincher signs on the line that is dotted – sounds damned intriguing. Stay tuned for further developments and if you want to find out more about the Zodiac Killer, you sick puppies, visit an unofficial website dedicated to the killer here. Trust us, it makes great morning reading.

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