David Fincher Battling Netflix Over HOUSE OF CARDS Budget
If you have read any of my previous posts, you will know that David Fincher is one of my favorites, if not my favorite director. He has a mind-blowing sense of what makes a movie great. When I heard he was set to direct/produce a 26 episode series for Netflix called House of Cards, I was super stoked.
The series is going to be Netflix’s step into the world of original content. The show is based on the 1990 British mini-series of the same name. The American version will star Kevin Spacey alongside Robin Wright. The story will follow a politician (Spacey) who becomes more corrupt as he rises in power.
Now here is where the problem starts. THR reports that Netflix has committed $100 million to this project, and yet the rumor is that Fincher is butting heads with the studio Media Rights Capital over budget issues. I will not pretend that I know everything there is to know about financing a movie. However, I do know that if I have a proven director like Fincher working with me, I will do everything I can to make sure he has everything that he needs. Apparently, it has even come to the point where Fincher has threatened to walk away from the project if these issues don’t get resolved.
Reps at MRC claim that nothing is wrong and everything is moving according to schedule. The only delay in production was conflicts in Spacey’s schedule. So, instead of starting production this month, it will start in April.
To you or me $100 million is a lot of money, and with that amount you would think that all budget issues would be solved. Evidently when you have a director like Fincher on the job, you need to be prepared to spend more. Netflix is responsible for what they have already put into the show, anything beyond that is the responsibility of MRC. With friction starting between Fincher and MRC, it is safe to assume that $100 million is already spent or spoken for.
For those who have worked with Fincher, budget is a constant battle for him:
David is fantastic, but David isn’t easy,” says Bill Mechanic, who ran Fox when Fincher made Fight Club. “If you don’t know how to manage a budget, [using Fincher] probably isn’t the smartest thing to do.
I am always excited to see what Fincher has up his sleeve and can’t wait to start watching this series, if it gets made. I think that it will help Netflix with their transition and possibly change the way we watch our favorite TV shows. Let us know what you think.