David Fincher Working On Chinatown Prequel Series With Robert Towne

David Fincher, Robert Towne

by James White |
Published on

Chinatown is one of those classic movies that people would be understandably up in arms were someone to suggest a reboot, sequel or prequel. Spoiler alert: the original 1974 film's star Jack Nicholson made sequel The Two Jakes in 1990. But plans for a prequel series that would explore his character's earlier days is made more palatable by the idea that David Fincher is overseeing it, with Oscar-winning Chinatown writer Robert Towne aboard to craft the pilot.

Netflix, which has an established relationship with Fincher via House Of Cards and Mindhunter, has put together the new deal. Chinatown, directed by Roman Polanski, starred Nicholson as Jack Gittes, a private eye hired to expose an adulterer who instead uncovers far more unsavory things. The story blended fact with fiction and delved into corruption, oil, water, land and gangs. This new series will see him handling cases as a younger man.

Fincher is on board as an executive producer alongside regular collaborator Josh Donen, with Towne also snagging a producer credit. Before he turns his full attention to the Chinatown prequel series, Fincher will work on Mank, a drama charting the battles between screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) and Orson Welles (Tom Burke) over Citizen Kane, for which both shared the Oscar for screenwriting. The film will hit Netflix next year, and is being shot in black and white.

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