David Fincher's Editor to Make Directorial Debut With New Regency's 'Empire' (Exclusive)

Angus Wall, who won Oscars for his work on "The Social Network" and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," will helm the thriller, written by "Source Code" screenwriter Ben Ripley and produced by Mark Gordon.
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Angus Wall

Angus Wall is David Fincher’s longtime editor, who won back-to-back Oscars for his cutting work on Fincher’s The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But what he really wants to do, it appears, is direct. And he's getting his chance.

Wall is on board to direct Empire, a New Regency thriller written by Ben Ripley, the scribe behind the Summit sci-fi movie Source Code. Mark Gordon is attached to produce the action thriller via his banner, The Mark Gordon Co.

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The logline for Empire is being kept under wraps, but it is described as being in the style of Safe House and The Usual Suspects.

Drew Simon and Michele Wolkoff will oversee for the Mark Gordon Co.

To segue from editing to directing isn’t that common. Cinematographers do much more seat-hopping, as do screenwriters. But Wall has a couple of giants he can look to as examples.

Hal Ashby was Norman Jewison’s go-to editor on the Canadian director’s late-1960s period, with In the Heat of the Night (for which Ashby won an Oscar) and The Thomas Crown Affair, among the titles. Ashby made his directorial debut with 1970's The Landlord before going on to helm '70s classics Harold and Maude, Shampoo and Being There.

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Walter Murch was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on Julia and Apocalypse Now (he won for best sound on the latter), and although he’s worked consistently as an editor for the past 25 years, he made his directorial debut on 1985’s Return to Oz.

Wall, who also worked on Fincher's Panic Room, Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is repped by CAA and the Gotham Group.