In an interview with MTV Neil Gaiman admits the decision to depart from the further development of the film, which Gaiman and Avary had been working on for two years already, was mostly due to creative (or shall we say technical?) differences between Fincher and the writers.
Two things I find vigorously interesting about this statement -- apart from my opinion that it can only be half true, which I will explain later.
First off, it's great to finally learn something about Fincher's development process. That he works with his writers on many drafts of the story, over and over, in order to get it right. Having "more than ten", to be honest, is not that much. Screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga of "Babel", "21 Grams" and "Amores Perros" (who also wrote the "Powder Keg" short-film of the BMW "The Hire" series, produced by Fincher) once explained, his process consisted of writing as many as 70 drafts of a script. With starting every new draft from a blank page! Of course "more than ten" might also mean "more than 50".
Secondly I find it both interesting and suspicious that Gaiman's statement circles solely around "the process" -- as opposed to creative and personal considerations, such as, did they agree on the perspective and the main themes they wanted to explore; did they feel like they could work well as a creative team and deliver a film they themselves would love to see. And frankly this is the point I find rather implausible: For writers to step down from a project because they didn't want to write the drafts it needed? I don't believe that is the only, let alone the primary reason for their decision: Gaiman and Avary are both pros. They should be as free as barely anyone to choose what they do and don't want to write, and that decision should boil down to their personal interest in the story and the creative team, and if they feel they can bring something to the project ... and not be about technicalities of the process. Not wanting to write a certain number of drafts? That should get you fired in Hollywood and elsewhere quicker than you can apologize!
Anyhow, even if it may sound so, I am not bashing on the writers here. Much rather I am suspecting there were more substantial creative and or personal differences between the three, that informed this decision. And that Gaiman might not want to speak up about.
David, if you're still looking for a replacement -- I'll write a thousand drafts to be able to work with you!
Tell me what you guys think of this news. Here's the original source:
MTV: Neil Gaiman Escapes "Black Hole"