‘Chinatown’ Prequel Series in the Works at Netflix with David Fincher & Original Writer Robert Towne

Netflix has closed a deal to develop a prequel series based on Roman Polanski’s 1974 film, “Chinatown,” to be helmed by David Fincher and Robert Towne, the film’s screenwriter. The deal has ordered Fincher and Towne to develop a pilot script for the project, a story that will focus on the early private investigating days of Jake Gittes, the lead character who was played by Jack Nicholson in the film.

A Deadline exclusive, it is reported Fincher will executive produce the series with Towne and Josh Donen. The deal discloses that Fincher will write the pilot episode of the series. Fans of the director’s work can hope he also directs the first episode, as he did with Netflix’s “Mindhunter,” and a few episodes that followed.

“Chinatown” was released in 1974 and won Towne the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, on top of its ten other nominations which included Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Director and Best Cinematography. It won four Golden Globes in 1975, including Best Director for Polanski, who until then, was also best known for directing 1968’s “Rosemary’s Baby.”

David Fincher produced “Mindhunter” for Netflix. Season 2 of the series is now streaming.


Fincher’s latest work, the serial killer focused drama, “Mindhunter” released its second season on streaming this year. He also produced “House of Cards.” Fincher is set to direct “Mank” for Netflix, the biographical drama that will follow the working relationship of “Citizen Kane” scribes Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles. Academy Award winner Gary Oldman is set to play Mankiewicz, along with a cast that includes Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tuppence Middleton, Arliss Howard, Charles Dance, Ferdinand Kingsley and more. The film is penned by his late father, Howard Fincher.

Fincher has been nominated for two Academy Awards in his career, for directing “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Social Network.”

What do you think of David Fincher putting his foundational print on another Netflix series deal with “Chinatown?” Share your thoughts in the comments below!