MTV: Was that a book that was important to you as a young man?
Fincher: No, not at all. I was alive when a man stepped on the moon. It was awe-inspiring, the notion of that much care that NASA took. I’m sure it was the same thing for the Manhattan Project. The idea of a post-Civil War version of science fiction and the notion of being able to breathe underwater was so radical in its thinking. That’s pretty cool. If you’re going to do big tent-pole teenage PG-13 summer movies, it’s kind of cool that it would be this.
MTV: Is Cleopatra something you’re currently developing?
Fincher: That’s something I would love to do with Angie [Jolie]. It’s something that was brought to me that you have to take seriously. [Producer] Scott [Rudin] has this wonderful book, and hopefully [screenwriter] Eric [Roth] can find a way in. I’m not interested in a giant sword-and-sandal epic. We’ve seen scope; everyone knows we can fake that. That stuff doesn’t impress in the way that it did even 10 years ago. We expect that from Starz [now]. So that’s not the reason to do that. What is it about this character that has purchased this place in our history and imagination that is relatable today?
MTV: One film I’ve talked to you about in the past is Rendezvous With Rama. Should we keep talking about it, or should I drop it?
Fincher: You should drop that. It’s great but it’s just a really expensive movie, and talk about the bones being picked by so many other stories …
MTV: I saw you last at Comic-Con for Goon. How is that project looking?
Fincher: We’re still trying. Eric [Powell] rewrote his script. He got away from the genesis story, and I feel like we need to go back to a little bit of what he had before. I don’t think you can tailor what Powell does to what Hollywood does. I think you have to allow for the disparity. I don’t think you can go into it saying, “We have to make it fit into this box.” Everything is a digression from what the main through line is.
MTV: IMAX is something that filmmakers like Brad Bird and Christopher Nolan have lately been using. Does it interest you?
Fincher: No. They’re going to have the digital equivalent of IMAX very shortly. I don’t like the idea of changing fidelity in the middle of a movie just to say, “Here comes some big sh–!” Whatever Brad Bird or Chris do is fine by me. I normally think in terms of homogenization. I want to be able to count on a kind of resolution and depth of field. I never saw The Dark Knight in IMAX. I could definitely see a difference in fidelity of the IMAX sequences. But to each his own.