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5 films that would be totally different if David Fincher had directed them

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As the great director turns 55 this month, we take a look at 5 films that would be completely different if he had put his touch on them.

He directed cult classics Fight Club, Panic Room, Se7en, and recently has had more successes with films Gone Girl, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network, and many others. He is famous for his unconventional storylines and fearless shots – they don’t always work but they’re always unlike anything else out there.

Fincher is hailed for his quirky and dark visual style, in Fight Club the stand out colours are black and blue, in Zodiac they’re black and yellow. Another key element to a good Fincher film is his use of shadows to elevate the element of mystery and keep an audience guessing till the end. This also emphasises the darkness in each of his films and his obsession with black.

Fincher’s use of camera work is also intense. No matter what he’s shooting the footage is stand-out, allowing for every small detail in the frame to be heightened.

David Fincher pushes the boundaries, rebelling against stereotypical Hollywood techniques and bringing exciting new ways of storytelling to a mainstream audience. So what would these 5 films have been like if he’d been at the helm?

1) Spider-Man

Fincher himself has commented on what his take on this classic Superhero film would be, and as expected it isn’t quite as bright as your typical Marvel superhero film.

“I was never interested in the genesis story – I wanted to kill Gwen Stacy. The title sequence of the movie that I was going to do – was going to be the one shot that took you through the entire Peter Parker [backstory]. Bit by a radio active spider, the death of Uncle Ben, the loss of Mary Jane, and [then the movie] was going to begin with Peter meeting Gwen Stacy.

“It was a very different thing, it wasn’t the teenager story. It was much more of the guy who’s settled into being a freak.”

A David Fincher superhero film is something I would love to see, it would be dark and gritty and fantastic. But perhaps he is more suited to Marvel’s Netflix world, which is already creating a much more realistic and bloody world than the films show.

2) Forrest Gump

Now arguably, Fincher has already created his own Forrest Gump film in the guise of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The narrative of a medically troubled childhood to a heart-breaking but beautiful finale is something that Fincher hasn’t shied away from.

I'm sure Fincher would have made even more of the twists and turns in Forrest Gump. He might have played up to the heart-breaking loss of Bubba. He might have made Lieutenant Dan's depression even more of a tragedy. He might have allowed Forrest to see Jenny's flaws in more focus.

But, in all honesty, I doubt much would have changed. Forrest Gump is a film that does not shy away from its dark themes in the same way that Fincher never has.

3) Transformers

This franchise is still going strong (somehow?) raking in millions at the box office. A spin-off is set to be released alongside yet another sequel in 2018 and 2019 respectively. I can’t be the only one bored of the films now?

Well apparently I’m not since critics have panned the past few films with Peter Travers saying “Every time Michael Bay directs another Transformers abomination, the movies die a little.”

What this franchise needs is a fresh perspective and I for one would love to see the trickery and twists Fincher would apply to revamp (and improve) the world.

4) Bridget Jones’s Diary

It’s the chick-flick that keeps on giving. No matter how much you watch it, it doesn’t get old. So what would have happened if Fincher had been at the helm?

We can safely say it wouldn’t have been as happily-ever-after as it was, that’s for sure. The only other time Fincher has tried his hand at something somewhat close to a rom-com there was murder and rape accusations over flowers and chocolate. (If you haven’t seen Gone Girl yet, what have you been doing?)

I can imagine Finchers take on the classic girls-night-in film would have seen a much more desolate and depressed Bridget Jones. And, I’m sure, her two suitors would have done much worse to each other than fight in a tiny Italian restaurant.

5) Finding Nemo

So what if David Fincher directed an animated movie? It probably wouldn’t be family-friendly. More along the lines of Sausage Party than Toy Story.

I'm sure that had Fincher been behind Finding Nemo it would not be a kid's classic.

The colours would have been dulled, the language would have been brightened and I'm sure the monsters would have been enough to enduce nightmares.

And would Nemo have ever been found?

Given Fincher's incredibly varied list of filmography it is not beyond reason to imagine he has something just as random planned next. We will never quite know what he has brewing. And it's this tendency to switch between genres and tones that makes him such an exciting filmmaker.

Watch the trailer for David Fincher's last film, Gone Girl below. His new Netflix series Mindhunter is due to be released October 13th 2017.

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