David Fincher, the American director best known for dark psychological thrillers like Se7en, The Social Network and Fight Club, is turning his attention to a new monster haunting the American imagination: “cancel culture”.
Cancel culture has been the subject of fierce debate over the last half decade. Few people can agree on what it actually means, with plenty rejecting the idea it actually exists at all. Is cancel culture a comedian finding it harder to book gigs after being accused of sexual harassment? People criticising JK Rowling for being transphobic? Or someone attacking you on social media for something you posted?
There are lots of bad definitions, and some good ones, all of which share a common thread related to public or online shaming.
However, it seems unlikely that David Fincher will be making a prestige drama about the Tumblr call-out scene. Speaking about the idea in an interview with The Telegraph, he said: “At its heart it’s about how we in modern society measure an apology. If you give a truly heartfelt apology and no one believes it, did you even apologise at all? It’s a troubling idea. But we live in troubling times.”
The idea is still in the development stage, and Fincher hasn’t disclosed any further details about the project, the announcement of which caused a great deal of consternation among the “cancel culture just means experiencing consequences for your actions” crowd.
Fincher has just signed a four-year deal with Netflix, which, unfortunately, does not seem to include the return of his excellent and seemingly cancelled (in the traditional sense) series Mindhunter.
His new film, Mank, will be released on the streaming platform later this week (the 20th of November). It tells the story of real-life 1930s Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who co-wrote Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, and the conflicts which arose with Welles during the film’s production. So far, it’s been getting rave reviews, receiving an impressive score of 80 on review aggregator site Metacritic.