Cannes boss Thierry Fremaux wants director David Fincher’s work back in cinemas rather than on Netflix – and he doesn’t mince his words about it.
We all know that Netlfix isn’t exactly beloved at Cannes. The streaming platform hasn’t been welcome at the prestigious French film festival since 2017 and even then, the films that it debuted (Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories) are said to have opened to boos. For Cannes boss, Thierry Fremaux, it’s a source of continued dismay that auteur filmmaker David Fincher continues to ply his trade exclusively for the Silicon Valley studio.
Fincher has recently signed an extension to his deal with Netflix which will see him work exclusively (we think) for the company for another three years. That doesn’t sit well with Fremaux, who wants to see Fincher back on cinema screens and back at Cannes.
“He’s still a great filmmaker, but he doesn’t exist at the same level in our hearts and minds than when he showed Zodiac in competition,” said Fremaux during a recent keynote speech. “He wants to work alone, quietly, making his films for platforms. It’s a different world. We miss him. We want him back in our world. than when he showed Zodiac in competition.”
The Cannes boss isn’t shy regarding this opinion either: he recently said something to similar effect, explaining that he told Fincher personally (and respectfully, it seems) that the director ‘doesn’t exist’ anymore:
“Fincher has left cinema,” Fremaux said, per Deadline. “Fincher now works for streamers where he’s directing incredible stuff. I tried to explain this to him, modestly, obviously, that he doesn’t exist anymore. At least for us. For reasons left up to his own liking, he wants his creative freedom, he doesn’t want to fight with studio heads, his films tend to be very expensive, but I’d love for him to come back to cinema. He’s one of the greats.”
Fremaux’s comments continue Cannes’ public disavowal of Netflix because of the company’s refusal to countenance theatrical releases for its films. His words also resurrect the argument regarding the status of filmmakers like Fincher who choose to work exclusively with small-screen streamers. Does Fincher ‘exist’ in the way Fremaux is describing? Does a director need to have a presence on cinema screens in 2024 to be considered relevant?
Perhaps, yes. But we’re interested to hear what you think. Let us know in the comments below.