Exclusive David Fincher Trivia

Sometimes trivia comes from the most unexpected places: I was visiting the Zurich Film Festival last week and was invited to the Masterclass for directing and screenwriting with honorable guest Sylvester Stallone. In case you don't know (which I didn't), Sylvester Stallone has written more than 20 produced screenplays over the last 30 years, including ROCKY, FIRST BLOOD and CLIFFHANGER, was nominated for two Academy Awards and directed STAYING ALIVE, RAMBO and the larger portion of the ROCKY franchise.

At the event I was visiting, Stallone would share his thoughts and methods on writing and directing along with some great insights and behind-the-scenes trivia. He seemed like a cool, funny guy, and was open to talk both about his successes and failures. I was impressed to hear Stallone still is one to write his scripts on a legal pad, and gets up at 4.30 a.m. to write for three to four hours. Gosh. That's when I do my best sleeping.

Anyhow. Great event. And one of the stories he told was this ...

The interviewer asked Stallone if he ever wished he could have had a hand in the writing of some of the films he starred in. Stallone replied with the example of THE SPECIALIST, where the conversation with his agent went something like this: The agent called Stallone to have a look at the script, to which Stallone said it was okay but it needed some work. "Well, the producers don't want you to mess with the script," the agent said. "Okay, well who's directing it?" - "Guy named David Fincher is attached." - "David Fincher! Wow." - "Yeah, but the producers don't like him." - Stallone is like: "Why? That guy's a genius. He just directed SE7EN. Brilliant director. What's not to like?" - ...

"He has his own ideas."

I swear everyone was rolling on the floor. Certainly much due to Stallone's charming way of sharing this anecdote. But you could feel it was also a homage to Fincher, and that everyone agreed that Fincher is this very talented, determined, original and uncompromising director.

So yeah, just a little something I had to share with you guys. I am rather glad Fincher did not end up making THE SPECIALIST, by the way. But that may only be because I do not see how a truly great film ever could have evolved out of that. SE7EN, FIGHT CLUB, THE SPECIALIST? - Nuh. Doesn't work.


  1. you're probably right.

    but on the other hand... what could it have become of that? my mind wonders...

  2. Apparently he started out in Switzerland, funny guy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhcCzO46Xts