Film Fanatic: Ben Affleck, David Fincher, ‘I Am Legend’ Reboot


Video Essay on the Work of David Fincher

With the upcoming release of the film Gone Girl, I’ve been reading and watching a lot of career retrospectives on the work of director David Fincher.  He’s my favorite filmmaker and a well-respected director amongst film critics and movie fans.

For me personally, Fincher is fascinating because of his meticulous desire to achieve perfection in every frame of his movies.  You could literally pause any scene from any of his movies and it would look like a work of art.  In reviewing his masterpiece Zodiac, I referred to this meticulousness as “Fincher’s almost fetishistic attention to detail.”

But you can’t really appreciate his work in words.  He’s a master visualist best appreciated by viewing one (or all) of his films or simply watching this fascinating 7 1/2-minute video breakdown from Tony Zhou.

What Zhou points out is that Fincher is great at conveying information visually or verbally and having it not seem like exposition.  He’s very subtle in that regard despite being known for his amazing visuals.

Zhou also focuses on specific scenes from Se7en to articulate Fincher’s way of developing character relationships through camera angles.  Fascinating stuff.  The one thing the video doesn’t talk about is Fincher’s use of CGI which is often so seamless and subtle (Ironically), you aren’t even aware of it which in my opinion is the best use of computer generated images.

Any fan of cinema or anyone currently taking a film class in college should watch this simple yet fascinating breakdown of the art of filmmaking from the perspective of arguably its best artist and then go and see Gone Girl with this fresh perspective in mind.  You might have a better viewing experience.

‘I Am Legend’ Reboot in Development

It’s been seven long years since Will Smith starred in I Am Legend.  A visually stunning epic while also being intimate, Legend earned nearly $600 million worldwide and proved to be one of Smith’s few challenging roles.  Warner Bros. has since wanted to make another film, a prequel if I remember correctly (Smith did die at the end), but Smith is reluctant to return to the franchise.

An ‘I Am Legend’ reboot is happening minus Will Smith. | (

Now it seems Warner Bros. has found a different way of making another film and it appears they’re going with a reboot.  According to Deadline, WB will re-work the spec script A Garden at the End of the World, written by Gary Graham.  The script is described as a “sci-fi version of The Searchers,” which Graham wrote when he worked at the Apple store.  He submitted the script to the Black List website and WB  not only took notice, but they envisioned a way to fit the story into the Legend universe.

Specifics of Graham’s script are foggy, but it appears that there are no plans to bring Smith back.  I’ve always thought a prequel to the first film would have been unnecessary.  Legend featured a few hints at Neville’s (Smith) involvement with the outbreak, but the ambiguity served the film well.  A sequel with the alternate ending (found on the Blu-ray) where Neville lives would have made more sense.

If they do make another film, please replace those terrible-looking CGI creatures that were the crux of the first film.  Just use real people with practical effects and makeup.

Ben Affleck May Star in ‘The Accountant’

After winning the Oscar for Argo, Ben Affleck was ready to get the ball rolling on his next directing gig, Live by Night.  But then David Fincher called about a part in Gone Girl and Affleck of course obliged.  Then came a certain Caped Crusader character in a giant superhero movie and again Affleck was forced to push his period crime drama back.

Ben Affleck’s schedule is getting pretty full. | (Mike Pont/FilmMagic)

Now there’s news that he might be squeezing another acting job in before getting behind the camera again.  Variety is reporting that Affleck is in negotiations to take the lead in the Warner Bros. thriller The Accountant which follows a mild-mannered accountant who moonlights as a lethal assassin.

Other than maybe Christopher Nolan, Affleck is WB’s golden boy who can do pretty much anything he wants.  When he became interested in The Accountant, WB’s long-in-development project moved to the front of the line.  While I’m not a huge fan of Affleck as an actor (He’s often either too emotional or too wooden), I’m eager to see his performance in Gone Girl which is getting rave reviews.




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