4:52pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Both of HBO's David Fincher Shows in Jeopardy
HBO is desperately trying to remain in business with David Fincher.
The premium cable network is "struggling" to figure out how to move forward with Fincher's Gillian Flynn dramatic adaption of Utopia while at the same time trying to salvage the House of Cards creator's music video comedy Video Synchronicity.
Production on 1980s music video comedy Video Synchronicity was stopped abruptly June 11, with the cast sent home. At the time, a source close to the project told THR that the show was still considered to be a go but was likely to undergo some script touch-ups and use the time to catch up on scripts.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter following his time in front of critics at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour Thursday, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo admitted there have been troubles with both Fincher shows. (Both have series orders.)
Video, he said, "isn't dead," despite being out of production for nearly two months.
"When we both saw the third and fourth [episodes], we realized we needed to go back and do some work on the scripts," Lombardo said. "David's attention at that point — he is someone who likes to be hands on, on everything — got diverted by another project [HBO's Utopia]. [He's] not good at letting us go ahead and do what we needed to do on Video Synchronicity while he was working on Utopia. I texted with him today, we're going to turn our attention soon back to Video Synchronicity and figure out the path forward. But I fully expect we're going to be able to finish that up."
Picked up to series May 4, the comedy had completed production on four episodes — We the first two directed by Fincher. Lombardo noted he has high hopes that Video Synchronicity will work out. "There's too much good stuff for us not to figure it out. We're going to figure it out," he said.
As for Utopia, Lombardo admitted that HBO is "struggling right now trying to figure that out. Sources tell THR that Utopia — which is rumored to have cast Rooney Mara — is way over budget. "We're at that moment, trying to figure out if there is a path forward or not for Utopia."
Utopia was picked up straight to series in February 2014, with Gone Girl author Flynn attached to pen the U.S. take.
Asked if there was a scenario in which both Fincher shows could fall apart, the executive hoped for the best. "I seriously hope not. I've been doing this long enough to never say never. I don't think so," he said.